Blog: Uncovering The Faction #5

Gareth Fordred is a founding member of the faction theatre co. In the 2012 Rep Season he is playing Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Leicester in Mary Stuart and a reveller in Miss Julie.

Uncovering The Faction #5: Breakthrough

‘ the ___ .of diamond-like __________ .marmalade _______ .in submarines’

I play Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Leicester in Mary Stuart. I am supposed to write about both of these characters in this blog I presume. Mark (Director) also doesn’t want anything to be written that might spoil surprises for potential audience members. So, here is my totally safe, utterly un-spoiling lowdown of Malvolio thus far:

Experiments with the _____ .are going well. It’s proving to be a little noisy when I ____ , so will have to figure out some muffling mechanism or adjust the _____ .somehow. The ________________ .will be a lot smaller than I was envisaging, which makes the _____ .on his struggle rather than a gimmick.

Hope that’s clear.

This will all make perfect sense if you come and see Twelfth Night.


Probably not.

I managed to avoid spending Christmas Day learning the remainder of my lines. I will admit that Boxing Day did feature some time spent on them. But, surely everyone is a bit restless and in need of distraction by the time that weird Boxing “Christmas 2: The Sequel”/see-the-rest-of-the-family-we-like-a-bit-less* Day rolls around? I had properly started to slip into a semi-coma towards the end of three days of overly-heated houses, far too much booze and way too much food. A sort of pie-eating contest in a sauna. Anyway…

Characters. Bloody difficult wee beggars to get a hold of. Are you creating a caricature? Are you doing too much/too little? Is it just plain ridiculous? Is it truthful? Where do I start? Hang on – maybe we wanted ridiculous in the first place? Somehow, I always manage to forget the process each time it starts. But I am fairly sure I always seem to go through the same pattern. By this time – Week 4 of rehearsals – I get some kind of “Breakthrough” which sort of means having to scrap a lot of the other stuff I had been doing hitherto. Said “Breakthrough” (inverted commas here because I’m praying to come up with a less w*nky description by the time I finish writing) usually has a lot of common factors:

It usually requires less effort

It is usually simpler

It is usually clearer

It is usually more truthful

I have recently been trying to wean myself out of the warm and evil embrace of beer. This is mainly because, I tell myself, if I stop drinking beer I will quickly become a lot slimmer.

Putting aside the actual effectiveness of the strategy, I have resorted to spirits. Namely whisky.

I have been averaging a __________ bottle of whisky over a fortnight. Roughly. Is this unhealthier than the quantity of beer I was drinking in the first place, I ask myself? Answers on a postcard addressed to my liver and its care home fund. Accompanying the aforementioned “breakthrough” are thoughts such as:

“Why couldn’t I have realised this a week ago?”

“Why am I so stupid?”

“Does everyone else secretly think I’m stupid for not realising this a week ago?”

And other generally unhelpful and very human things to be thinking as well.

*to all of my family I saw on Boxing Day: I love you dearly. Definitely not less. If anything, more so.

– GF

The Faction’s Rep Season opens @ The New Diorama Theatre, NW1 3BF

Jan 6th – Feb 18th a cast of 11 perform Twelfth Night, Mary Stuart and Miss Julie

Visit for times and tickets

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