Monologues from some of the best plays at the Almeida are available on their YouTube channel. You can read a description of the characters that appear in each monologue and listen to each of them below. These have been taken from the audio introductions that VocalEyes previously created for the audio-described shows; we’ve also made these available as Word documents for download at the bottom of this page.
Andrew Scott as Hamlet interpreting “To be or not to be”, Hamlet, 2018
Hamlet is dressed casually, in a black collarless shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and black trousers. He often pads around barefoot and is a slight, almost elfin figure with short, tousled black hair and dark eyes that are downcast and shadowed by pain. Hamlet’s pale face is unshaven and he moves with the listless shamble of a sleepwalker, but when he tries to puzzle things out, his hands are never at rest, as if trying to pluck answers from the air or give corporeal life to his thoughts.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Roz Chalmers and Miranda Yates and edited by Louise Fryer.
Fisayo Akinade as Mark in Shipwreck, 2019
Mark is in his early forties and has dark brown skin. He has high cheekbones and his short black hair is twisted on top. He has a thin moustache and his jaw is lined by a neatly trimmed beard. He wears a long sleeved orange top fastened by 3 buttons at the neck, worn with grey chinos and brown leather shoes.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Andrew Holland and Eleanor Margolies and edited by Julia Grundy.
Justine Mitchell as Allie in Shipwreck rehearsals, 2019
Allie is in her late forties, of medium height, with fair skin and straight shoulder length red hair. She has quite an intense presence, seeming worried or anxious, and wears practical clothes, a dark brown check shirt over a light brown T-shirt, and blue jeans tucked into thick socks and heavy brown boots.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Andrew Holland and Eleanor Margolies, script edited by Julia Grundy.
Patsy Ferran as Alma interpreting “Love’s Secret” by William Blake, Summer and Smoke, 2018
Alma is a young woman in her early twenties. She is petite and slim with an almost childlike body and very pale skin. Her expressive, fine featured face is framed with thick dark hair that is pinned casually at the nape of her neck, with tendrils falling over her ears. Her eyes are large and brown, and she meets the gaze of others with unblinking interest or stares into the space around her as though searching for the right words to frame her thoughts. She is dressed modestly and simply, a delicate ivory blouse with tiny pearl buttons done up to the throat and elbow length sleeves. Alma is rarely still, even when sitting or standing supposedly rooted to the spot her hands fret with a nervous energy, often twisting the small gold ring she wears on the middle finger of her right hand.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Jenny Stewart-Cosgrove and Miranda Yates, edited by Louise Fryer.
Lydia Wilson as The Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi, 2019
The Duchess is in her mid-twenties of medium height and slim build. Her elfin featured face is framed by a straight blonde bob cut with a heavy fringe. Not a natural blonde, the dark roots of her brown hair are visible on top. Her skin is pale, almost translucent and she has a small pink mouth and large brown eyes that often brim with tears of both joy and sadness. Her thin body is wrapped in a floor length black cotton coat the sleeves almost covering her pale delicate hands. Her outfit is finished with a thick gold necklace with a large sapphire stone that hangs at her collarbone.
The Duchess carries herself with assured confidence and meets the gaze of others with an open steadiness unafraid of what she will find or what they may see. Her gestures are controlled as though she is trying to contain an energy that bubbles just below the surface.
Here the Duchess speaks to her servant Bosola, a weasel of a man. Tall, slim and in his thirties, he has short, sandy coloured, curly hair framing a pallid face. His blue eyes are rarely still, flitting from chance to chance. He wears a black suit and tie with a white shirt, but he seems ill-suited to this attire with the traces of a man not made for the gentility of court.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Jenny Stewart-Cosgrove and Miranda Yates, script edited by Julia Grundy.
Kate Fleetwood as Medea, Medea, 2015
Medea is a woman in her mid-forties. She is a well-known writer, tall and slim, with waist-length brown hair which she wears half caught back from her face, leaving the rest trailing down her back. She has an attractive pale-complexioned face with sharp angular features and a defiant chin. Her dark brooding eyes dot about, glinting with suspicion and resentment. Medea wears no make-up, and her clothes are plain and simple: black casual trousers with a cream t-shirt. Her shoes are flat lace-ups. She moves with a brittle energy, never still for long, and she prowls about her house like a caged bird. Her posture is tense and stiff, as though she´s forgotten how to relax and her brow is always furrowed with disbelief, confusion and anger.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Jenny Stewart-Cosgrove and Miranda Yates, and edited by Clare LeMay.
Ralph Fiennes as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in Richard III, 2016
Richard, Duke of Gloucester is King Edward IV’s ailing brother. He is in his fifties, with light skin and thinning dark hair pressed close to his skull. His eyes are alert and watchful. His black shirt, closely fitting jacket and narrow trousers serve to exaggerate his distorted outline. Richard’s shoulders are stooped and his tall, sinewy body is twisted. From time to time he addresses us directly, sharing his thoughts and plans with a conspiratorial smile. At other times the sinews in his neck strain, and his misshapen body seems to vibrate with hatred and frustration.
The audio introduction for this production was written by Roz Chalmers and Di Langford, script edited by Clare LeMay.
Banner image: Patsy Ferran as Alma in Summer and Smoke