Thursday, 9 January 2014

Life & Loves 2: Getting on with it

Thursday. Busy day. It felt like we were bigger than the room we were in.

There are days in the devising process where everyone takes their lunch at different times. We're all making the same thing in the same room at the same time, but we're all looking after our own bit of it. At some point someone will check what we're all thinking. Is it one of those days? 'Cos it would be good for us to break now, but I can see you're in the middle of something...

Today was one of those days. The team has grown throughout the week; as well as the core five of us, we've been joined by Tech Manager Craig Davidson, we've been dragging Hilary from her General Manager desk to teach us jive and Lindy Hop, and we've been visited by our friend and PhD student, Deborah Newton, who, although she was there to observe, inevitably got drawn in to the conversations about the work...

And today it got even busier. We were joined by the brilliant Stacey Sampson, who came in record some voice over for us, and some kind-of-choral vocals. Chris Thorpe sent us in a recording of a song, having found a piano to play it on somewhere in the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Those last two gave Ivan plenty to do, building up the soundscape for three separate sections in the middle of the show.

We were also joined by photographers Clive Egginton (who followed the What I Heard About the World process with us) and Marcus Sarko, whose photos accompany this post.

Andrew spent much of the day making new butterflies, and he and Craig found themselves wrestling with some logistical issues to do with big rolls of paper - problems we thought we'd solved in Bradford re-emerging as the structure of the space has developed. 

And Rachael and Nick spent most of the day on their feet.

At about 4pm, it all seems to come together. A run through of some stuff. Our initial plan was to make all new material this week, and then spend all of next week rehearsing & editing the new and the existing material. Inevitably there has been some blurring of that. Today was focussed on the middle third of the show - mainly new material - and how it affects what we already have. There's a recurring discussion about the tense of the story telling. The show seems to come just a little more in to focus.

Which leads to thinking about what fits, and what doesn't fit, in this now slightly clearer vision of the show. Yesterday and today both saw two favourite things - one just a gag, one a bigger physical element - put on the 'watch list'. We like them, in themselves, but they both might cause the rest of the show bigger problems than they solve. I always find this difficult, but as ever, we have to remember, the audience won't miss them like we do - because they won't know they were a possibility.

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