Well, the starting line for Project 10/52 is getting close. The first of January approacheth and the online You Have Been Watching.
This is a show that will be guided by the cast, by the people who want to get involved in rehearsing it. It probably won't be a traditional play, though I have written material that could be presented this way. It might end up more an installation, more performance Art, than pure theatre.
Which brings me to a question often asked about my residency: why am I an artist in residence. Why not actor, or writer, or director... or...
Well, it's because none of those three titles covers the work I do very well. I am doing all three, of course, and also working on visual art, set, lighting, costume - the totality of the work. But not only have I rejected those other titles because none of them covers the work accurately, I have chosen Artist because the boundaries between Art, Performance and Theatre have never been more porous. The techniques I may choose to explore in YHBW may not be theatrical in a traditional sense, but may involve set ups which are more akin to an art gallery than a theatre.
Then again, I may not. But it's nice for one's title not to drag one down in one direction.
Anyway, what I want to do with YHBW is make it largely interactive - taking a cue from art practice - but the interactions will be largely theatrical. I don't think I can describe the piece as immersive, that catch all participatory slogan which is very now, because I will never have such total control of the space/s we'll be using.
This is all starting to sound a bit wanky, let's move away from the arty bollocks for a moment.
What I'm doing at the moment is creating material for a show whilst at the same time devising exercises and games to play with the 'cast' which will probably destroy said material as we rehearse it.
No, still sounding wanky. Oh well, I tried.
The rehearsals will be public, completely open to anyone who wants to be in the 'cast' or just watch. It will be in a public space and so we will interact with people if they happen to come in, partly because the work will do this when finally 'performed' and the 'cast' will need a chance to practice this.
It isn't a work which requires many traditional actors as many action to be performed will not be acting as such - so anyone can get involved. People will have tasks, some fairly simple, some what you might call acting, having a text to perform.
There will be two initial open rehearsal/auditions (I call them auditions, more a sorting hat process than ruthless culling) on Sundays 12th and 19th of January from 1pm at the Quay Theatre, lasting around two hours. Everyone will get a chance to perform, do exercises, help create the work - but for those two sessions I will not know precisely how it will look. We will test out material and ideas and then I will have a play and see what I want to do with everything/one. Then there will be three more group rehearsals with whoever came to the first two sessions (plus extra rehearsals for individuals) before the final performance on Monday 17th February.
So, if you'd like to get involved, or you know someone who would, do come / force others along. Or if you'd just like to watch, come along. Full schedule below.
You Have Been Watching - basic rehearsal / performance schedule
(Will include additional rehearsals at discretion of participants.)
OPEN REHEARSALS / WORKSHOP - Sundays 12th & 19th January from 1pm at the Quay Theatre
Anyone can turn up and get involved or just watch.
Specifically for those who came to the first two sessions or collaborators - anyone who didn't get to the earlier sessions maybe allowed in if they ask me nicely.
Sunday 26th January from 1pm: first trials of devised/text work
ONE WEEK BREAK TO ADJUST / LEARN MATERIAL
Sunday 9th January from 1pm: adjustment and revision of devised/text work
Sunday 16th January from 1pm: technical runs
Sunday 17th January: performance in the evening - tickets available now!