Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Day three at Bradford Theatre in the Mill

In the morning before I travel to Bradford I spend a little time transcribing the film and audio we've captured over the past two days during improv work. I am suitably inspired. There’s a great deal of subtlety and it’s clear that we’re all on the same page regarding the family and what’s going on with them. I am a little concerned about the difference in tone however. We don't seem to have been able to get back to where we were when we last worked on the piece.

I talk to the performers about what is happening. I explain that I feel it's time to create a text and that I haven't had chance to do this so far (definitely factor this into future process). The team agree that I should spend my time developing the script today.

We have some discussion regarding the difference in tone and I express my desire to re-discover the tension we had before. Dean points out that allowing them to talk/speak in improvisations is part of the reason that we're losing the emotional intensity that builds when they are silenced...

Tricky, as without the impro where they do speak, we wouldn't have any text at all...however, an interesting revelation to move forward with.

And curious as yesterday it seemed essential that we have a text to reach a level of emotional intensity (expressed verbally/vocally)…

We also note that the lack of soundtrack is a factor in the sense that we’re not achieving the same atmospheres we were getting before.
I delegate to Jonnie and the team, asking them to ‘really take it by the balls’ and to revisit the original 10 minutes that we’ve created, to try to find their way back to where we were when we started out.
I leave the performers alone and transcribe some more of the film/audio. I rough out a couple of scenes from the transcript by editing and selecting from it. Then I return to the rehearsal room.

The performers feel re-grounded having re-visited the original 10 minutes (directed by Jonnie as I was out of the room working on the text). This, combined with my relief at producing some script, the tension in the room breaks and we hit a creative peak.

Suddenly the whole team gushes forth with ideas...the atmosphere is electric.

Dean realises that if the audience could really hear what’s inside his head we’d be able to hear him reading the knitting pattern. We decide to record this to include in a scene that explores diversions...

I am specific about a secret hidden depth in Jean (too secret to mention here).

I mention that I imagine Arnold dancing/raving (having picked up bits of popular culture from what he’s seen on tv).

We ask what Arnold’s diversions might sound like and we think that he’d default to his recollections of what he sees on tv - adverts.

This feels like a break through for Arnold. We’ve found a way of freeing him and given him a means of expression.

We spend the rest of the day doing bits and pieces of sound work in preparation for the work on the stage action the following day.

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