Thursday, 11 October 2012

Day seven

Mentoring on day six brought about a shift and an urgency to consolidate the material generated in some way.

Establishing what the contract is between performer and audience has become a primary concern. I too can see the elements of the work which are problematic (as highlighted by Cathy) and having this kind of criticality in mind makes pushing forward tough.

I have to stick to my guns on some of the decisions that have been made. The museum is an alternate reality and this sets a president that I can not do anything about now. Cathy flagged at the outset that putting a museum into a theatre space raised questions and relied upon the audience subscribing to a pretence. Perhaps i didn't listen closely enough to Cathy's alarm bells or perhaps I was not ready to really hear her. But problematic or otherwise I have to embrace this alternative reality and work with it.

The team continue to believe in the material generated and our designer, Lucy reviews the footage and relays her confidence in the work we've begun to create.

Lucy proposes a design concept which helps to rationalise things. We decide to get rid of the seating in the theatre space at The Mill and using the space for an installation.

To an extent this alleviates the contracting issue. We are actually presenting something like a museum now with curated objects. Our performers can now also be objects.

We're also alleviating the expectancy that comes with the typical 'end on' theatre layout and taking the pressure off the direct address required in that context in the absence of narrative ( which remains absent despite this being a fictional world of sorts - are you beginning to see the challenge here?)

The subtleties of the contract are yet to be established and I remain uneasy about these given that we've committed to working in an alternate reality. But I'm not going to let the process get very snagged up on this. There are too many positives to focus on.

We spend a bit of time at Leeds museum and I find myself very inspired by the texts which accompany the exhibits. I photograph them and transcribe them and we look at making them work as performance. We don't quite achieve the right connection with the words at this stage, looking at it first as direct address and then as something more incidental, though we all enjoy certain qualities of the text. Again, the fine tuning of the contract could be what is needed to make this work.

Lucy picks up lots of ideas while we're in the museum. She sees ways to set up a museum easily and quickly.

It's a tough day. It feels stopped and started. I suppose there will always be days like these.

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