Big questions today:
How do you stage a specific event in a way which is
1) True to the reality of that event/experience
2) Beyond the simple outline or illustration of the event
3) Surprising and powerful
4) Respectful of both the original witness/subject/storyteller + nature of the event, without falling prey to auto-censure and timidity.
Today we saw children playing in the road. They were lying down in front of traffic + jumping onto the backs of cars ("riding" them by hanging onto doorhandles).
There are also lots of dogs looking down on us from rooftops.
When does curiosity turn into foolhardiness? If you are repeatedly told not to go to a specific area of town, does it make you want to visit it more?
Yesterday we interviewed a man who seemed uncomfortable giving us certain specific details, preferring instead to beat around the bush with confused generalities. What is fearful language? Silence and censorship are clear byproducts of oppressive environments, but what about a more crafty use of language to obfuscate or derail a conversation?
The rooms we are rehearsing in propose many interesting opportunities for playing with light and shadow. Shadowplay is proving a very interesting treatment for the theme of fear, it's also been good to see how in some cases light can be used in a way which makes it as frightening as darkness. As always it is clear that in their opposition one emphasises the other.
We work on the strategies people have to prepare for and overcome fearful situations. Some are very intimate and personal, but take on another dimension when performed by the whole group in chorus. Logical actions become ridiculous, whilst superstitions grow in force.
We interviewed a man who guards the Medina. He sleeps in a small tunnel-like room on a bed built above 25 tombs. He said he used to drink heavily and believe that the dead were trying to pull him down through the floor, though he has gotten over this fear now. One of the dead is apparently a saint, though he doesn't pray to them. He wheezes heavily and carries a small round inhaler.
Starting to think about how we will organise our end-of-residency sharing. Around now is the time that preparation for a showing takes priority over continued research. We mustn't fall into the trap of forgetting the research aspect, although the added pressure of an audience can give extra peps, force us into a direct confrontation with our material, and lead to unexpected discoveries.
ps. I also saw this eldritch beast in the park...