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Diary: Welcome to the warm-up

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Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry. Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry. No, dear readers, Tabard isn’t just repeating his favourite form of travel over and over. He is in fact warming up his mouth muscles, and loosening his tongue, as all good performers should.

Most theatregoers have no idea of the absurd noises and sounds that come out of actors’ mouths as they prepare to take to the stage.

Lots of “The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue, the tip of the tongue, the teeth, the lips” and so on. What fun.

Tabard also recalls seeing actors warming up their facial muscles, too, by opening their mouths and eyes very wide, only to then pinch them shut, tightly. This particular move is referred to as a cat’s bottom. Charming.

For anyone who ever wondered what takes place during a warm up, Shakespeare’s Globe this week provided the answers, by allowing members of the public the chance to join free 40-minute warm-ups at the venue.

Called Wonder Warm Ups, after the venue’s current Wonder Season, performers from the venue’s shows led members of the public through a physical and vocal warm-up.

What larks! Old Bill Shakespeare would have been very proud. All together now: “She sells seashells…”

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk

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