“Okay. This time…”
This week our numbers doubled. Joining Jorge & David (mala voadora) and Rachael & I (Third Angel), were José Capela (mv), Chris Thorpe (TA), Mark Maughan (theatre director, observing and helping) and Hannah Butterfield (our BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow). That’s a lot more ideas in the room.
We (I) have often said that the point of devising is that you will make something that none of you would have made on your own. That's the hope and the pleasure of making theatre collectively and collaboratively. Making work that surprises you, that makes you wonder, where did this come from?
Inevitably, though, early on in the process, the shows that you would all make, individually, are in your heads and in the room. So it is a necessary difficulty, sometimes, to let go of those individual shows. This week I think we’ve all done that. But fragments and threads from each of those ‘solo’ shows have connected and combined to make a new piece, with two main strands running through it: life in ‘the room’, and events that take place (and time) outside of the room.
Together we’re now finding the logic of those two strands, looking for cohesion, for links between them, trying to understand how they fit together. Trying to understand why they feel right.
There’s a lot of talk of rules, of voting systems, rules for society, rules for the show. This has been a continuous interest for the project since we began discussing it last year, and one which has surfaced in a number of different forms. Rules that we explain within the show, rules that we know but don’t have to explain, rules we attempt to implement, with varying degrees of success. This week there has been discussion about the difference between a rule and a tactic used to implement a rule, and how a tactic can be much more apparent than the rule itself.
At some point this week the idea of ‘rules’ is described as ‘finding ways of living together’.
By Friday morning we are in a position to run all of the (text) materials. From this we identify which sections are definitely* in, which are definitely** out, and, most commonly, material where the idea is relevant, but the way it appears seems to not fit with this new world of the show, or just needs more work.
This weekend we all travel (back) to Lisbon, for the final leg of making. Our homework is to let the material we have, the form of the show we have, sink in, and see what questions and solutions bubble to the surface on their own.***
* for now.
** actually definitely.
*** as well as sourcing furniture, power tools and carry on writing.
This week's daily videos. Here's me talking about being in the bigger room:
Here's Mark, observing the room and demonstrating some prompt cards:
Here's Chris explaining a voting system we worked out for a 2 person society:
And here are Rachael and Jorge with a bit of text about thinking about sex: