Thursday, 19 May 2011

So, it's started then ...

Two experiments down, thirty four to go. I’m kind of numb this morning – not sure what I’ve done or what I’ve begun. It was like being at the centre of a whirlwind or, actually, a close approximation to jumping out of a plane without a parachute. The people that came to the two offerings were warm and generous and open and kind – and I fear for my ability to stay bitter and angry at the rest of the human race if this is going to be my experience over the coming weeks! Not, I hasten to add, that I’m desperate for someone to come along and be nasty to me ...

The venue is a perfect place to start – warm and cosy and intimate – and Gareth and I are already aware that we will be moving to other spaces – bigger and less easy to manage. But we have two more nights and four more experiments at Noah’s Yard yet to come.

I’ll blog every day so hopefully my thoughts will coalesce a bit more but here’s some initial concerns and worries and ideas:

How nice is too nice? How open is too open? How much do I talk about what is happening whilst it’s happening? How honest should I be about how I feel? How much should I perform and how much should I let that go? Is it that important that people should feel comfortable throughout? How will I cope with genuine anger and disagreement?

It’s very hard to hang on to the lesson I learnt with John Dawson about expecting blank faces and assuming support – I need to manage my adrenalin better which I suspect only doing it more will deal with. I feel I need to be able to let things hang a bit more and leave space for people to engage and share – I also need to worry less about those people who seem quiet and unengaged. Last night, after sitting silent for a good portion of time, one of the audience spoke up and shared something incredibly personal and profound. People need their own processing time and thinking time – and if they don’t want to engage with the work openly then that is absolutely fine too.

The thing that strikes me the most about what happened – with very little hindsight – is how my initial belief that offering a space for people to talk about issues and concerns in life using theatre techniques and practices is something that people can and do want to engage with.

The experiments now continue and I’m sure will evolve and change and grow. If this blog makes it sound very po-faced then nothing could be further from the truth – there was much laughter and joy to be had in the small room above Noah’s Yard last night. And I’m sure there will be tonight.

Now if only I could calm down and enjoy it ...

As ever – thoughts, ideas, responses – all welcome. Everything’s allowed.



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