Actress Brings New Meaning to 'Stage Diving' in Her Leading Role as Lady Macbeth; the New Production of Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe Is One of the Goriest Ever. Welsh Actress Laura Rogers Tells Karen Price Why She's Conquering Her Fears as She Takes on a Leading Role
LAURA ROGERS isn't a fan of free-falling or heights.
But as Lady Macbeth, the Welsh actress plunges about eight feet off the stage of Shakespeare's Globe each night.
"I get thrown off stage at the end," says Rogers, who is from Swansea.
"There are four guys who play soldiers standing in the audience and they have to catch me. They only put this in a few days ago. I'm not particularly great with free-falling or heights but the choreographer made me do it step by step so it actually felt fine.
"I have to do it as if I'm dead so I can't open my eyes and see what's going on. I just have to trust that one guy can lift me and that the others will be able to catch me."
It's not the only challenge which 31-year-old Rogers faces during each performance of Macbeth - she also has to deal with plenty of blood and gore.
"The director, Lucy Bailey, really wants it to feel like it's set in hell," she says. "There are lots of jumpy moments - she wants it to be eerie and supernatural.
"We've already got through 10 litres of blood and we've only done four shows. I think they use food colouring and sugary water - it's very sweet and horrible."
Macbeth marks Rogers' fourth season with the prestigious open-air London venue, which is a reconstruction of the original Elizabethan Globe Theatre.
Previous productions she's been involved with include Richard III, The Taming Of The Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like It.
"There's something about the Globe that's really special," she says.
"It's so traditional. It's exactly what Shakespeare's theatre was like. I remember the first time I walked out onto the stage and thinking it's the closest feeling you get to being a rock star. You can just see everyone's faces."
Rogers admits that she doesn't find Shakespeare's language particularly easy to work with.
"Even now, if it's a play I don't know, it takes a week for me to understand. It's like learning a foreign language really.
"We studied Macbeth in school and at first we didn't really understand much but when you go through it you realise he was an incredible writer. It's really exciting stuff. The morals and themes of his plays don't date - they are still part of humanity today."
Rogers has not seen another production of Macbeth performed live so she can give her own interpretation to Lady Macbeth. "I think everyone thinks of her as the epitome of evil but I couldn't think of playing her just evil as you have nowhere to go. I wanted to try to find the human within her and see what drives her.
The things she gets up to are horrendous but I think she's just a woman who's incredibly ambitious and wants the best for herself and her husband. …