The final show in the Oxford Shakespeare Festival line-up is almost upon us as Siege Theatre presents Macbeth on the Oxford Castle Unlocked castleyard stage! We spoke with cast member Joseph Hartshorn to find out more about the show, his character and his most memorable stage moments…
What character do you play? How do you go about developing your character?
Witch 3 (who takes on the persona of other characters in Macbeth’s life). Most of the character development will be through happy accidents in rehearsals or chance meetings with people who seem similar.
What’s your favourite part of being on stage?
My favourite part of being on stage is allowing the character to continue to develop, making each night a little different. It can be difficult to keep the energy up if you’re just following a routine, and audiences pick up on that. Ultimately if you’re having fun, they’re having fun, even if its a tragedy set in a 11th century feudal kingdom where it rains all the time.
How much theatre have you done in the past? Any particular highlights?
I really got into acting through tour guiding at Oxford Castle Unlocked. It’s not unlike being on a stage, and is sometimes more challenging. You have to adopt a persona, wear outlandish costume and repeat information on a regular basis. From there, I took some small roles in Oxford Theatre Guild’s wonderful production of King Lear, and I’ve now worked with Siege Theatre in their previous three productions. I very much enjoyed working on The Tempest last year.
Do you have any backstage traditions before you go on?
Backstage traditions tend to be drinking Lucozade Sport, eating peanuts and apples and bouncing about singing.
Any memorable onstage mishaps?
There have been no onstage mishaps and all embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions were meticulously planned by the director!