This was posted on 13/4/2015 on www.erinsiobhanh.com
It's Monday morning and we are about to embark on our second week of research and development. We created a lot of really interesting work last week, based on a foundation of experimentation and play. We are working from a script, which I have written, but it's a living, breathing, changing document that is providing us with a roadmap for the devising process rather than existing as a marker we must accurately represent. It's not Shakespeare, the writer is in the room, and trying different things is actively encouraged.
We are drawing on a mix of training and inspiration from viewpoints and butoh to Strasberg's method to movement sequences in films like Julie Taymor's Across the Universe. We are also lucky enough to have several hours of my family's home movies from when I was a baby up until age 8 or 9 to work with.
During our experimentation we touched on some very personal areas for the three main artists (Jennifer Bates, Sophie Stone and myself) as well as hopefully discovering some universal truths about family, disability, childbirth and motherhood, sibling relationships, and the innate kindness of humanity (particularly children) juxtaposed with the ability to be so destructive in a single moment with a single phrase. We talked about those hurtful things that stay with you always, even if a thousand other people have been complimentary. We discussed the tendency for the medical profession to want to offer a neat solution, a "fix" to make everything "normal", no matter how complex the situation. Our experiences intersect and create a tapestry, and are at times confronting and uncomfortable, and at others funny and sweet. This show is nothing if not honest, a series of stories which is at its core about living life in your own way making the best choices you can for the people you care about.
This week we're going to have a lot more people in the rehearsal room, with our videographer Gerry Maguire and our soundscape artist Emma Houston with us full time, our lighting designer Ollie Savage and in-house photographer David Monteith-Hodge with us nearer the end of the week, and some valuable feedback sought from other performers who are coming in as "outside eyes" - Stephen Collins, Nadia Nadarajah, David Sands and Tessa Parr. It's going to be a bit scary moving out of the comfort zone of mostly being just the three of us but this an important step before showing it to an audience on Friday!