Thursday, 11 April 2013
600 People update
The planned first performance of 600 People, as part of Is There Anybody Out There? at The Orangery in Wakefield last month, was snowed off. We weren't sure if we could get all the performers and organisers there, let alone an audience. We talked about it on the Friday afternoon, and decided to make the call on the Saturday morning.
This was a strange experience in terms of performer energy - even once a postponement was looking likely, I had to continue rehearsing as if it was going ahead. Preparing a new piece has a very different trajectory to touring or reviving a piece, of course. We often (and I'm sure many other theatre makers do, too) talk about a new piece being "ready for an audience". We don't mean it's finished, but rather that we're not going to learn much more about it in the rehearsal room; we need the live response of an audience to give it a new, different energy. We're ready for the clarity and inspiration that performing to people-who-haven't-seen-this-before gives you.
With 600 People I was ready to perform what I'd got, ready to see what an audience made of it. As the snow continued to fall on the Saturday morning, and news came in of people stranded on motorways, and other shows across Yorkshire getting cancelled, we knew we didn't have any option.
My planned schedule for this final day had been a couple of runs in the afternoon and then the show. So I postponed all of that last-leg in my head, and it felt weird for the rest of the day. A nice bonus afternoon with the kids. In the evening, I didn't do anything else instead of the show, I just didn't do the show.
This week it was confirmed that Is Anybody Out There? is happening next week - with the same line up, which is great news. In the meantime we've also confirmed that it will go to GIFT in Gateshead in May.
This morning I walked to work, via the dentist, and performed 600 People to myself (either side of a filling). Considering its such a new piece, I was relieved that so much of it was still there, and pleased with how several new - better - phrases and links popped in to my head as I ran it. Another couple of runs like that and it should be ready for an audience.
Third Angel presents
Written & performed by Alexander Kelly
Inspired by conversations with Dr. Simon Goodwin
Is Anybody Out There?
Thursday 18 April, 8pm
Thursday 2 - Sunday 5 May
Schedule to be announced.
Originally commissioned for Northern Elements, a development programme funded by Arts Council England and managed by ARC, Stockton Arts Centre.