TOURING nationally and internationally, Shakespeare’s Globe Touring Ensemble are bringing three plays to Taunton this Summer.

The ensemble chose three plays – The Comedy of Errors, Pericles and Twelfth Night – to explore tales of those who have crossed seas and lost their families, are seeking new homes, and finding out what belonging truly means.

Keeping in line with touring traditions, the ensemble are performing multiple plays with a striped back set and only eight actors.

We spoke to Shakespeare’s Globe Touring Ensemble to find out about rehearsing for this busy 2019 tour.

Associate Director of the plays, Isabel Marr, said: “I think these plays go so well together: they’re all stories about loss, about displacement, and about people being at sea – whether literally or metaphorically.

“In rehearsing them, we’ve found that it is that fine line between comedy and tragedy that makes them so engaging.”

Many of the actors will take on multiple roles throughout the performances.

Isabel added that there is an international ensemble of actors this year, so they have a medley of different accents speaking the words of the plays.

The focus for the whole team is on the language – to produce clear and truthful storytelling.

Isabel said: “Shakespeare’s work really is universal and it’s fascinating to see how people from very different cultures relate to these very human stories.

“I think we need a mixture of voices, nationalities and cultures both to tell and to watch these plays.”

This is The West Country:

Evelyn Miller, who will play Orsino in Twelfth Night, Marina in Pericles and Adriana in The Comedy of Errors, is excited to meet new audiences and visit new places.

She said: “I love travelling and this is such a great opportunity to visit new places. It’ll be so much fun meeting people from around the world and seeing what their response to the plays is like.

“We have such a lovely company working on this job, and I’m really lucky to be sharing this experience with them.”

The ensemble will also offer five audience choice performances during this tour, so that the audience gets to choose which play they watch.

Isabel said: “We’re giving the choice to the most powerful people in the room: the audience.

“Audience Choice performances establish an important idea from the get-go: the audience are an active and essential part of the show!”

Evelyn added: “I’m looking forward to the audience choice performances, it is nice to be kept on your toes.”

These plays are still relevant today, as Evelyn explained, they are still hilarious, heart-breaking, and relevant even though they were written 400 years ago.

This is The West Country:

Performing three plays has certainly been a challenge. Both Evelyn and Isabel agreed that learning so many lines, music, dances and fights for all three plays can be challenging.

Evelyn said: “I always try to find the root of each character; what they need, lack and hope for. Once you find that, you have a solid base for everything else to grow.

“Often physicality and voice will start follow naturally.”

Isabel added: “Rediscovering these stories with such a brilliant ensemble has been amazing.

“Watching the actors take ownership of these plays - which have been performed for years and in so many different ways - and seeing the way in which they make them feel brand new has been my favourite part of the process.

“Humour has also been a huge part of rehearsals. If actors aren’t free to play and try new things without feeling embarrassed, then there wouldn’t be much point in doing these plays because we’d never be able to discover anything fresh.

“Humour is often key in finding where the truth lies in these plays: you sometimes have to get it wrong before you can start to find what’s right, and that can often be very, very funny.”

The staging for the show has been kept minimal to keep it in line with traditional Shakespearean performance.

Isabel also admitted that the group wouldn’t be able to fit more props in the touring van – so they have had to keep things stripped back.

This added to the intimate relationship between an actor and the audience that is, and always has been, vital in any Shakespearean play.

Isabel added that you don’t need “bells and whistles” to make a Shakespearean play dynamic – the words and the storytelling are the most important part.

Playing three different characters has been a struggle for Evelyn but she admits that she is looking forward to the tour.

She said: “The support we’ve had from the departments at the Globe has been amazing.

“It has made a challenging project a real joy.”

If you would like to see the tour in action, they are performing at The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton on July 1 and 2.

The tickets cost £20 per show.

To find out more please visit thebrewhouse.net or call 01823 283 244.