This week the RSC announced the launch of its #rehearsalcam across Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram, the promise being that we can get glimpses of the theatre’s work backstage through occasional posts from actors, stage managers, and others as they bring a show to life. The project at the moment specifically focuses on Henry IV, but given the fact that the social media feeds are more generally titled ‘RSC’ you get the feeling that this could be a trial of a more permanent initiative in the future.
There are five posts so far – one from actor Youssef Kerkour as he reads his script on what looks like London’s Circle line, a selfie from actor Robert Gilbert in his stage armor, a shot of a smartphone playing Morphine’s ‘Cure for Pain’, a 12-second clip of archery practice, and a group shot of someone (the assistant director?) addressing the cast.
What does it all add up to? I’m not sure yet, but I have enjoyed checking out the snippets they’ve shared — they remind me of the ‘actors’ bower’ video room from the RSC’s Midsummer Night’s Dreaming project last summer, which offered on-the-go insights into the rehearsal process as the show came together over one short week. I’ll be interested to see what the cast does with the #rehearsalcam between now and the opening of the Henry shows (not far off now — 18 March!) and also if the RSC takes the idea forward with future productions, perhaps starting at the very beginning of the process (director brainstorming, casting, etc.) and following it all the way through to opening night.