Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank

Macbeth

Text in Performance

What is the prompt book?

The prompt book is vital to any show, and is often called ‘the show bible’. The name is misleading, as it’s very, very rare to prompt an actor during a performance, either here or at other theatres. Instead, the prompt book contains costume information, notes on where the props came from, set plans, and cue sheets, all of which has been gathered together over the rehearsal period. It has a copy of the script in it, where the Deputy Stage Manager [DSM] will make a note of any line changes or pauses that have been added to the script during rehearsals. The DSM also keeps a record of the movements and positions of the actors on the stage, which is known as blocking. So if you were to go to a certain section in the script, you could find out exactly where an actor was, what they were doing, what their movements were and what props they needed. This means that if you ever wanted do the show again, you can use the prompt book and hopefully try and recreate it as much as possible with that information.

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