Thursday, 16 January 2014

Life & Loves 4: Things come back

Wednesday, week 2. We're getting in to the detail of the show, now. We've moved rehearsal space to The Montgomery Theatre's studio, just the other side of Tudor Square. We're still making new material, but we're rehearsing more, interrogating how things will happen, physically, logistically. How they should feel. The set is more complete, more precise. 

We spent some time last week developing the way paper works as part of the set, having gone with a simplified version for the sake of time back in Bradford. Last week the paper wasn't playing ball, and was proving something of a headache. Some discussion of vertical, perpendicular and sag. So we spent a fair bit of time this Monday trying out cloth as an alternative to paper. We got into an interesting discussion (well, interesting to us at least) about how cloth, whilst more beautiful when stretched taut, feels more like a screen than paper does, and how we were less keen on that. We want a material that feels more like an object, less like a 2D surface. By the end of the day we were back using paper, pretty much in the same way we were in Bradford.

Other stuff comes back from longer ago. As noted earlier, there have been several incarnations of this show, several voices, that have been discarded along the way. But those early versions clearly had something we were interested in. Details, a feeling, something, that made them stepping stones rather than dead-ends. But something about them wasn't right, so they were put aside, whole.

Now we're at the stage where we know what the show is, we know who the performers are, what the task of their story-telling is. We make passes through the material, adding detail, finding and reinforcing connections. And we go back, inevitably to some of those earlier voices that had something

The very first version of the show, called All About The Full Stops, contained the image of the narrator, as a young girl, sitting on the sofa with her grandad, watching old films and musicals on a black and white TV. Mention of it was no longer than that last sentence, but Rachael and I had both commented on how we liked it. As we've moved sections and text around this week, things got bumped, gaps appeared. And then Rachael called me on evening to read me a new text for one of the gaps. The image of the girl, watching movies with her grandad, revisited and stayed with for longer.

I love the way moments like this point back to show you the way you have come, help you map your own journey to where you've got to - and, I guess, help you understand what's going on in what you've got. They remind you of your early thoughts and interests in these ideas, in this material. Look, this is where it started. This has been here all along.

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