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Tuesday
Apr022013

Day Four and Five: ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You…’

A bit late with day four and five’s blog -  furious rehearsals making the most out of every last minute we had, didn’t leave much time for blogging.

At the beginning of last week we invited some friends and artists from York in the shape of Tom Bellerby, Luke James and Oli O’Shea to an informal sharing of our week’s work. It seemed like such a good idea, and like we had plenty of time when we tweeted them on Sunday. Now that it was Thursday morning and we hadn’t yet run anything through, we questioned our logic…

So day four became like doing a life-sized jigsaw puzzle. We had to take all of the little bits and pieces we had created throughout the week and try to get them to slot together seamlessly, ready for us to show at 7.30 that evening…hmmm…

Most of the day got eaten up with technical juggling - with two handheld projectors, one mains projector, two moving platforms, three portable lamps, two iPhones, one mac, one dictaphone plus live and recorded music (most of which is operated from the stage) - we had to devote a lot of time to getting everything doing what it was supposed to be doing.

Eight hours later the bits were together and we had run the piece a good 2 or 3 times straight through, with only minor hiccups. Needless to say there were still seams on show, but the material definitely had the coherence that we were hoping for. We had something to show, and that was the main thing.

Our audience arrived and in the absence of anything stronger to ply them with, we made them tea and gave a brief explanation of the process so far:

  1. The week’s work had been focussing on generating material and thus far we have been cheerfully ignoring the dramaturgy of the piece. We thought it better to have a piece before we started agonising over the journey it went on. The agonising will come next.
  2. We have spent the last two years devising and performing in the toilets, so a studio space has been quite alien to us.
  3. Please do ignore our ramshackle staging; our set will not always be tied together with string (we hope).

And resisting the urge to make any more excuses, we went into the theatre space. They sat down, the lights went up and in the blink of an eye…it was all over.  It went so fast that when I glanced at the clock, I was very surprised to see that the piece was running at 30 minutes. Where did all of that come from?!

Time to talk. Firstly we had to comment upon the all-female company performing to an all-male audience. This brought up a good initial question:

‘Do you feel alienated by the female nature of the material?’

A unanimous:

 ‘No’.

That’s good to hear, we never want to make work that alienates a male audience.

‘I felt intimidated by moments in the piece but that was because I was being confronted by an idea, some of the ideas are confrontational, but not alienating. I imagine lots of the things you are saying are directly for a male audience’.

Very interesting.

The discussion continued and they gave us such useful feedback including thinking about the red dress (a crucial prop) as the dramaturgy of the piece, being slightly more delicate with the music here and there and that the piece felt like a dialogue between the personal and the iconic.

Phew, we were getting our ideas across. Of course, there were still lumps and bumps to be ironed out here and there, but thematically, it was speaking (and saying the right things!).  

Time to go for a well-earned drink. And then bed.

The next day it was Sophie’s birthday (Sophie is performing and collaborating with us on the show). As her parents had kindly offered us digs for the night, we woke up to a delicious birthday breakfast. Full up on breakfast and birthday cake, we headed back to York to do a finish up, pack up, round up Feeling positive about what we had achieved in the week, we made plans for writing tasks, future rehearsals, and for set and music.

We have now had just a short break for Easter and are back in the rehearsal room this coming weekend.  After a bit of important reflection time, we’ll be ready to get Marilyn up all over again.

Look out for more blogging activity next week as we’ll fill you in on the next stage of the process as it happens.

And massive thanks to Oli, Tom and Luke for their fab feedback and support.

 

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Cool post thanks for the read

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