So, er yeah. The regular updates fell by the way side, didn’t they?
That said, I have been keeping up the reading and watching of plays. In one week I read five plays and watched two. I experienced a whole range of emotions and saw how some theatre can be so simple and at other times it can be so very complicated.
Day 6: Before I’d even got to work I read The Vertical Hour by David Hare.
What struck me most about this was that essentially it was a play about a couple. About a man’s relationship with his father, about a woman’s desire to reconnect with her true passion. Yet at the same time it was about the Iraq war, politics and the role the West played in the Middle East. There were some insightful speeches about modern politics and humans’ apathy to the plight of others in situations of conflict.
We don’t spend that much time with these characters but instantly we understand them, and it all becomes clear why they are absolutely not suited to each other.
I thought it was a masterclass in brevity and character. A play can be about many things, as long as your characters are watchable. I was definitely inspired.
Day 7: Purple by John Fosse.
This was assigned to the Tamasha writers as something to read before our next session. We will then have a task to complete. I’ll confess, I’m not sure I liked it. I struggled with it and getting a sense of what was going on. That said, I was impressed with how much you can say with very little actual language, or punctuation, in fact.
Day 8: Dear Home Office
Much like Brainstorm this show reminded me of the power of young people just being themselves. It also tied in nicely with my verbatim project Home is Where… At a time where I’m considering new and exciting projects for the Space youth theatre and having just launched Sharing Stories, it’s important to me to see how simple storytelling can be elevated to make something theatrically engaging.
I’m posting this on Monday, which is day 13 and the plays that I’ve read but don’t have time to write about are:
Girls, Blue Heart, The Convert, Death and the Ploughman and Mincemeat. Today we started a week of R&D of my play Coconut at Diorama Arts Centre, so to be fair, it’s unlikely these updates will actually come. You’ll just have to take my word that there is some serious theatrical learning going on over here.