Thursday, 23 September 2010

Rehearsal Blog 6: “The Heartbeat of the Show”

Taking us up to the end of Week 3, here's Rehearsal Blog 6 from Lauren:
Post 6: “The Heartbeat of the Show”
A new day bought new enthusiasm and fresh ideas to the group. Chris had written a text entitled A Series of (Very) Short Pieces About What People Are Doing Right Now, essentially a (very) long list of one sentence summations of stories, both previously collected and new inventions. Alex, Jorge and Chris were (very) excited at this new development, believing it to be potentially the “heartbeat of the show”.

Various improvisations were tried, with Chris reading the text and Alex and Jorge trying ‘interruptions’ to flesh out certain stories if they came to mind. This felt like an promising structure for the show, and in the afternoon was tried again with the order of the list randomised, and shared between the three of them. I think everyone went home feeling a lot of progress had been made that day.

On Thursday, a need to develop shorter versions of the stories was felt, as all the texts up to that point had been at least five minutes long, and whilst they were liked by the group, it would have made for a very long show if all the stories were fictionalised at such length. This new brevity was mingled with the text developed so far, in a repetition of the ...What People Are Doing Right Now improvisation later in the day. Interruptions were both pre-planned and improvised with certain sentences triggering certain set pieces that have previously been developed.

This was the first attempt at performing an entire show with the material, so some things worked well and some didn’t; Jorges’ wailing was a personal highlight! The performers were generally pleased with how well it went for the first try, and how well it seemed to flow. Overall another good day.

With some overnight perspective, the group discussed the run-through and agreed that the content was good, but that they needed structure and to inject more emotion. There was a lot of pacing around thinking what to do next rather than feeling it was ok to sit to one side, and the function of the live drawing needed to be clarified.

A possible introduction idea was developed by all three; that of relating Sheffield to the rest of the world, and of Jorge speaking in Portuguese and Chris attempting to translate. This was developed for the rest of the day, as well as an exercise where Alex attempted to draw a photograph based on Chris’ description of it.

On Friday we were also joined by Clive Eggington, photographer and co-founder of Archive Sheffield, an organisation hoping to: “create new photographic images to depict and preserve the diversity of the cities population”. He is hoping to take photos right through the process, and everyone is happy to have him onboard, and are also hoping to star in one of his stories! It feels a bit surreal to have two levels of documentation going on in the room, but I’m sure we’ll get used to it...

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