Friday, 30 January 2009

Screaming nostalgia

Late on a Friday night, the foxes screaming outside, inside my head screaming receipts. I'm blogging everywhere else for distraction so I might as well do it here too.

In homage to the foxes, this sprang to mind.



Proper nostalgia. I saw them in '89, beautiful screaming. It stayed inside me to force its way out to open The Bound Man, which I directed in '97 first in college, my ticket to run away from academe into the theatre. When it hit BAC we reconfigured the opening with the help of two classes of 8-year-olds, asking them to imagine the forest of this dark fairy tale and then - yes - to imagine the tree that was them, and then to use the piles of art materials to make their tree however they liked in the middle of the forest in their imagination. Those 60-odd pictures becoming then an installation of a forest that the audience walked through to enter the space. And we recorded the kids singing Caribou in a round, after helping them through a text analysis of the lyrics so we all knew what we were singing. They nailed it.

They came to see the show in a special performance. It's true that all you need to do as a director then is watch them watching it, and mark very precisely the moments when you see them engage and disengage, heat and cool, that precision tells you when it's working and when it's not. But in the Q&A afterwards they mostly wanted to know how the stage punch worked, if it was a real gun, why that boy was wearing a dress.

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