The question I will ask myself and others through Molecule is: ‘How, and Where, do the Dead Live?’
I personally don’t think there is ‘another side’, a place where the dead sit in the clouds being pestered by Derrick Okora. I don’t think they spend eternity knocking about graveyards either. They are lost, but there are ways in which we find the spirits and energies of the ones we miss amongst the nooks and crannies of everyday life; in the gaps between teeth, the memorized lines of favourite films and songs and in the sound of a spoons scraping the last dribbles of strawberry sundaes out of their glasses. The Dead live through us, in our memories and through our senses.
I'd like to talk with willing participants about their loved ones and the places they remember them, recording discussions and important routes, tastes and smells. I’d like to use this research to create a fun and surreal guided tour which will incorporate games, direct address and audience participation, inviting people to collectively re-enact and re-enliven the memories.
If you’d like to learn more about the project and would like to be involved I’d love to hear from you, please get in touch with me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org and say hello.
WHY AM I DOING THIS??
The whole idea for this project started with my own loss. My younger brother Paul was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer aged 16. Despite several operations and rounds of chemotherapy I lost a best friend, music appreciation compadre and someone to wind-up endlessly with random noises and stupid jokes, in October 2008.
On the first anniversary of Paul’s death, family and friends journeyed to Llangennith beach on the Gower to pay respects and lay flowers in the waters we played in as children. It was a stormy day; cold, wet, funny, sad. Since then our family have continued the annual pilgrimage to Llangennith but last year I realised that, for me, Paul was no longer there; he didn’t live down the beach perpetually young, covered in wet caking sand waiting for me to bring him flowers. He never even liked flowers as far as I can remember, he’d probably prefer to be brought Surf and Turf and a pint. It’s a ritual that for me doesn’t do what it used to, it is broken. This map of grief is out of date, it’s routes’ in need of renewal.
I will spend my time with Molecule beginning to develop a new participatory theatre piece which broadens the discussion from just my own experiences to include others and offer opportunities for myself, other participants in the devising process and the audience to explore ways of sharing and evoking the memories of their lost ones.