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Ramblings

 

Description of the showing.

Audience enter a theatre space, they are uncertain as to where to position themselves because the seating bank has been occupied by Gideon, eating nutragrain from the plastic bag. The work lights are on. Nothing theatrical seems to be happening. There is a music stand and microphone on one side. On another side is a guitar resting on top of an amp, producing a humming/vibrating sound, and the microphone amplifier. On the seating bank is a heater on a tall stand; at the top a row of lights; and scattered are masks (zebra, animal, non-specific). The audience are ushered to the back of the stage, behind the curtain; at its centre is a pot-plant, tall, tree-like but delicate. They are ‘on stage’. I walk around, and speak into the microphone: Thank you for coming to see my show, This is a play about a boy and girl who go down south to the beach to play out a love story. I go to the guitar every now and then and produce noise from tapping the guitar. I remove the wooden lock on the exit door. When ready, I turn the work lights off. The heater, or the ‘sun’, is switched on. It’s a black space with just the sun. Underneath it, Gideon performs a series of bodily, summer gestures, bathing in the warm sun, smiling, stretching, bending, etc. He flies too high and falls down the seating bank and faces the audience. I call out ‘Sofia’ three times. On each time a girl from the audience leaves the audience-chorus, walks to the seating bank and sits in a position. Gideon returns to the sun, switches it off and I fade out the noise. I walk to the switch at the door and turn on the blue fluro. A blue line. I walk to the exit doors and open them, the house lights go up. I walk to the seating bank and sit, Gideon starts the text: ‘look out there…’. I proceed to the microphone and recite text, setting the scene ‘wrapped in towels, at the beach, fish and chips, she has a balloon, kids on a swing, inertia and space’. Gideon then says the ‘I can’t wait till later text’ to an imaginary girl. I re-configure the space. Switch the blue fluro off. Switch the row of lights at the top on, request Gideon to move into position and he reluctantly does so. At the microphone I recite a poem about the ‘square root of negative one’ while Gideon lifts a handheld light and plays with it. I finish. I walk across the space to the guitar and Gideon puts down the light and the three girls put on their masks. Gideon runs down and starts to recite the ‘sandpit’ scene. When finished, I go to the audience, close the curtain to create a new space. The pot plant is at the centre of focus and I recite the ‘car crash’ text. I open the curtain and the heater and blue light is switched on. The cast is sitting in a row. The girls unmask.

Notes.

Play is constant; play is process. The need ‘to show’ something tends to compromise play, turning it into an object.

The work wasn’t interested in a conclusive story. It wants to offer a common ground, a series of provocations and allow the audience to co-create the story.

The work existed in a space charged with uncertainty. (We go off the bush track, how you go finding your bearings is your own business. I gave you co-ordinates!)

TIME! Too often theatre-time is taken for granted; chronological or linear dramaturgical time. Those that argue for “naturalism” purport this as the default in representation. Time to bend: echo, repetition, incongruence, disjuncture, disruption. The control time is to slow it down and to slow down the inevitable: the end.

Perception of space and sculpting audience experience needs to be considered. (You are there to be my audience, prove yourself!) What do you do in that space? The parameters need to be clear. The rules of the game. After the shock of being unsettled, what then? What do you do then?

Shapes and lines. The heater with its amber lines and the fluro with its cold blue: both steely. I opened the exit door, you can leave any time you like. It was cold outside, though. The elements hurt. The guitar amp was meant to be a thunder storm, that failed. The harsh space versus my soft interventions. Perhaps I long for the space I describe.

Who are these people I construct? Are they memories, conflations of people or myself?

Why isn’t it funny?

Next stage.

Am I trying to fall in love with these character’s again? Probably.

The relationship to construction, godliness, authorship.

Youth, the construction of youth.

The ephemeral.

I’ve written countless versions of this play. It exists in a number of configurations with various tangents here and there. I’ve even written the version I didn’t want to write. Perhaps now it is time to do the version I’d like to see?

Accepting and even admitting the various incarnations helped. I had to let go. I need to continue to do that.

To consider: The minimal. Audience relationship. Space. Time.

This work needs to find a conclusion. I don’t know what it is…abandon ship?

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