Performance and filming of the monologues in the Speak Me A Speech collection run over an 18-month period from January 2023 to mid 2024.
The project’s huge cast of 28 superbly talented actors are bringing to life on film an astonishing 28 of Shakespeare’s greatest characters in 35 beautifully realised monologues spoken in 10 South African languages, the major characters speaking more than one: Hamlet delivers three, and Ophelia, Shylock, Romeo, Falstaff and Macbeth two each.
To date all monologues were shot on a purpose-built film set on stage at the Drama Factory, Somerset West.
Filming of each monologue takes place over the course of a demanding and full working day, with often as many as 30 takes and director Victor van Aswegen doing the cinematography and sound recording, shooting in 4K raw with a two-camera setup. A day’s shoot can yield footage from the two cameras with a combined runtime of up to five hours. Van Aswegen also does the post-production on the project, which typically takes a week per monologue to complete, distilling the shooting day’s work and the multiple hours of recorded footage into the cinematic pieces with three different subtitle versions and accompanying texts presented on this platform.