April 25, 2011

I feel like I’m in Forced Ent (in a good way)

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We’ve had the pleasure of Lucy Ellinson’s company in the devising room for the last couple of days. Its been great to have another creator in the room, and we’ve enjoyed the momentum that can be created by three people taking turns rather than two (takes the pressure off, and feels more like a team effort).

Lucy brought a couple of devising exercises with her which gave structure to two hour-and-a-half improvathons. It was doing the first of these that made me feel like I was in Forced Entertainment – we set up three runways with ‘stages’ at the ends, where only one could be occupied at a time. As another person starts performing in one of the other ‘stages’ this ejects the person currently performing. Lots in common with Forced Ent’s show ‘And on the Thousandth Night’ in structure really. Both exercises generated some poignant imagery, interesting characters and situations, and entertaining juxtapositions of material.

We also started researching and playing a variety of parlour games.  The next challenge will be to get these games working, and get them to help us with our storytelling. We’re also thinking a lot about transitioning between our two worlds: 1. very present and ‘now’ and about the Avon party; and 2. a collection of magic realist dreams/images. We’ve thought of a few ‘means by which’ we could transition, so that’s really helpful, and we’ll now look to create a ‘getable’ language around these that can become part of the language and aesthetic of the show.

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