The Shakespeare Code - Behind the Scenes (Part 2) Excerpts from Benjamin Cook’s set report from DWM #382
Back on set, Freema is briefing David Tennant on the scene in which they first see Shakespeare. “All the way through your, ‘He’s a genius’ speech,” she says, “I’ll be clapping like an idiot, okay?”
“I remember learning ‘clapping like an idiot’ at drama school,” David joshes.
Third assistant Sarah positions Upper Boat’s groundling extras around the two leads. “After Freema shouts ‘author’,” says Sarah, “you’re all going to start shouting ‘author’, and you in the red hat - what’s your name? Hugh? You’ll start shouting ‘Shakespeare’, okay?”
Multiple takes follow. On the third, Freema gets confused, and calls for ‘Shakespeare’ instead of ‘author’. The man in the red hat looks crestfallen. “I’m so sorry,” gasps Freema, “I got carried away! I was caught up in the whole moment. Also, I did a cheesy grin when he came out, didn’t I? Oh that’s awful. I’m just so excited to see Shakespeare!”
During the next take, David’s eye-line goes askance.
“Where am I supposed to look, then? I was put off,” he insists, “by some very vigorous acting from Dean on stage.”
“I ran out of breath,” Dean [Lennox Kelly - playing Shakespeare] laughs. “I got a bit light-headed!”
“You almost fainted again,” says David, rolling his eyes. “You big girl!”
“I’m a genius,” shrugs Dean. “Geniuses shouldn’t stand upright for more than five minutes at a time. I blame the writer.”