Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hi there.
How have you been?
Well I hope.
I haven't written here fora while.
A lot has happened since then.
Oh yes.
A lot.
I've been to Hungary to work on a show with 2 fellow Gaulier-ites which was great. Very funny, very strange and between us we brought something new into the world.
The bouffon experiment went well, I think.
I was happy with it. I'm looking forward to teaching it again.
I've been to Bristol to help a friend plan his show which has started rehearsals and I've also managed to get myself a job with a mask company Vamos Theatre. It's all good.
Rehearsals are in Worcester and we are touring through to June next year.

Wow Mark that's amazing, but why do we care about all that?
Surely that's just you gloating.

Well no, you see I want to keep this blog going. I'm not at school anymore but then it is school that is shaping my ideas on theatre so I think it juste to keep the blog with the same name. And I think it's constructive for me to keep a record of my thoughts.There is something about sitting here typing at the keyboard knowing that there is the possibility that others may read my observations that helps me to focus my mind rather than my noting it in a diary or journal, which I may never re-read. Helps me to cut the metaphorical fat away. Anyway I'm waffling. (I like that word. Say it out loud, it tastes good in the mouth as does the spanish word for joke - chufla) Anyway I digress

I went to see a show last night, "Johnny Come Lately" by Coal, directed by John Wright.
It was brilliant.
Very funny, very dark and at points I wonder should I be laughing at this?
At others I am slapping my thighs at the ridiculousness of the action.

It also makes me wonder what I want out of the theatre.
Do I want politically charged theatre?
Do I want social comment?
Do I want to be challenged and confronted by difficult material?

If I would answer yes to these questions then Johnny Come Lately ticks all these boxes.

But actually this isn't what I really care about in the theatre, I'm not sure if it's my place as an artist to try and appeal to an audience's intellect or their moral character. I'm not saying others shouldn't do it but me, I'm not intelligent enough to try and tackle big questions in my work. 
Me, I have my fun and this is what I can work with and clearly Coal work with theirs too. Not just the actors but the director too. I love John Wright as a director and teacher and in the after show discussion it is clear that the cast love working with him also.
But this blog is about learning not just what I like or don't like and here is the little nugget of gold for any readers. When Coal were describing their process they didn't look for what appealed to their intellect in the process they asked different questions, "what do we like?" and  "what do we find interesting?" and "what do we have fun with?" and "What makes us laugh?"
This is what it should be like when we create theatre, we should be interested, curious, and looking for the fun and recognising what's funny.
Thanks Coal for helping me to start to understand what I like about the theatre.