One of the real pleasures I’ve had while working on this production of THE THREE MUSKETEERS with Quintessence Theater here in Philadelphia has been the task of representing the talent and craft of our expert fight choreographer, Ian Rose. Ian has decades of experience, has worked in all mediums, and is adept with both novice and skilled actor combatants alike.
Quintessence has staged a lot of classical theatre. Swords and combat come along with that material, and so the company has a well-established relationship with Ian. One of the very first things we did, after several days of table work on the script, was to have a two-hour, general training session with him, reviewing basics, running movement drills, teaching and refreshing thrusts, dodges and parries.
When I was just starting out professionally, I was a full-on “fight guy”. I certified with the SAFD, fought in nearly every show I was cast in, and was the fight captain as often as not. But as one ages, the types of roles you play change, of course, and so I discovered a lot of rusty spots in what were once well-honed fight skills. Ian’s efficient guidance – and a cast filled with highly experienced fighters – has made it easy for me to recover some lost ground and feel good about what I’m doing again. I’ve even learned a couple of new tricks.
Ian has put a lot of trust in the cast’s collective skills with the work. Six of the eleven who fight have, at some point, certified with the SAFD, and the other five all have some fight training in their past. So, Ian has put a lot of trust in us to work quickly and to look good doing it. I can tell you, as an observer, there will be some very graceful and talented men swinging pointy metal objects at each other in this show, and Ian Rose is at the core of it all.