Rachael and I have done a little work on Words & Pictures separately up to now, but today was the first day on it together, and it felt good. We’re not making this piece in a solid block of rehearsal time; more checking in with each other, trying stuff out, setting ourselves writing and re-writing work to do before we meet again. As we would expect, this process is partly decided upon, partly discovered – “ah, that’s how we make this piece.”
Words & Pictures, at the moment, takes the form of a book reading for a book that does not exist. A collection of texts that might be in our book if we had got around to writing it. We’ve had some material ear-marked for this piece for a while, but for today’s session we also dug out a few other texts that were offshoots of other projects that we wanted to do more with; sections that we liked, perhaps, for what they were, but that didn’t fit, it seemed, with the show that they were initially written for. Some texts we worked with today were not originally intended to be performed – but then, that’s what a book reading is, isn’t it?
As we would also expect there was some thinking today about what the rules of the piece are – is a text allowed in if it has already been performed as part of another show? – but mainly it was an enjoyable day of try-outs and discussion – finding out what connections there are between pieces, what stands up well, what we’re less interested in now, what development, re-writing, cutting and expanding needs to be done.
So we've got a playlist of possibles, edits and re-writes up on the blackboards in our workspce. Next session will be about considering these re-writes and looking at the new pieces we’re developing specifically for Words & Pictures.