When was the last time you went to the beach? The last time you played a game? Acted like a child? ... escaped the chaos of everyday life, the mess and disorganisation that is the reality of our worlds and had good old childish fun? With a narrative that makes you feel you are part of something much deeper and bigger then yourself ... a focus on 'we' not 'I' ... The Beach hits home!
For me I did this last night, played games on a beach in Prestatyn, and lost myself in the production. I'm now currently sat in the Scalia Centre coffee shop, in Prestatyn typing this, reflecting on the experience of participating in NTW latest show, The Beach (NTW05)
I've been following TJ
in the last few weeks, connected to them as friends on Facebook and amid the chaos that is my life and the time I had to view, comment and listen ... I was intrigued and confused by what to expect. What I would experience and find in Prestatyn when I visited on the 29th July 2010? ...
Myself and three students from the university came with me. We came to participate in a NTW production, to see how NTW is challenging the boundaries of the stereotype of what many (esp. those who are not in the creative industries) think when they think of theatre. To overcome the possible challenges of geography (Prestatyn is 4 hours on a train from Cardiff), the Welsh weather and an air of mystery created through the digital and offline journey in the lead up to the show ... be it from NTW cast and crew on the NTW Community Group: The Beach
or the characters, TJ
themselves on Facebook ...
Ultimately, we came to experience the vision that Catherine Paskell
and her team have spent months crafting ... So how do I feel today?
If you notice I say 'feel' not 'think' ... People are all about emotion, and it's our emotions and how we feel that truly motivates us (if it wasn't I wouldn't have had that piece of sponge cake last night at the after show party). So to me theatre as an attendee or participant, is all about the emotive experience, the deeper emotive connection you experience be it with the cast, the crew, the venue, the story, or the people you go and experience it with ... what you feel, not what you think! And it's this emotional connection that gets people talking about it, sharing it online ... it's called an 'I like'
button on Facebook for a reason ... theatre is not just 'entertainment for an evening' ... it's an emotional experience (e.g., the success of Ghost Stories in London
, wherein fear is an emotion, is evident of that).
So from childs play on The Beach ... how did it makes me feel, and what do I feel today! Connected, moved, happy, inspired ...
If could bottle the feeling and share the shows core message (I'll blog about that next week, so as not to spoil it for others) with those who couldn't come ... especially those in the local community within which this production, message and venue was heavily embedded, to which it's narrative has a deep emotional connection and meaning ... I wouldn't just write it in the sand, I'd also put it in a bottle, write it on a postcard to share with friends/family back home, and encourage TJ and Charlie (and the NTW TEAM
) to travel Wales ... sharing it ...
To to the director, Catherine Paskell
:-) and creators Rhiannion Cousins
, Bethan Marlow
, Carl Morris
, and many others in cast and crew ... standing ovation guys!
If you couldn't go, and want to know more follow Catherines blog posts
and the NTW05 search feed
on the community. But I have to say, nothing in the digital world can do this production justice ... you have to experience it to feel it!