March '15

I receive an email with from Marina Sossie, an artist and friend, who's just arrived back in the UK from her travels has been offered a residency in Hackney by Lucy, a mutual friend and artist herself. The three of us met in Whitstable in 2013 and have kept in touch since. As an opening event for Marinas residence she has invited myself and 6 other artist to free reign to create / collaborate on an event, One Note Missing. The title of the evening takes its' name from the piano in the studios which although perfectly tuned is bereft of a hammer for one if its' keys. My 'One Note Missing' rings out as my brother Paul, although he's hidden under the other flotsam and jetsam, images and scenarios swilling around in my head after an initial phone call with Marina;

A green headed man moving through a dark room parts of him picked out by torchlight, an audience entering a room to find two people tug-of-waring, the combatants recruit the audiences to do battle, the audience continue the war whilst the two eat oysters through linked arms over the taught battle rope, my brother as 'the lost note', grief as an energy, I try to find him throughout the night, discussing his death? dressing up and becoming the black dog, doing something one-on-one with an audience member on a roof or empty street at sunset, silver balloons being let off to drift and reflect in the colours of the dusk air, picking out an audience member for a private playing of a surreal sound scape /story through headphones while the nights unfolds around them.

It has been a question lingering with me how to discuss Paul through performance. I'm no stranger to autobiographical work but felt I've never found the right time or space to speak about Paul. Part of me shouts 'Yes, of course you should, it's about death, grief, it's universal! The one thing other than taxes that's a dead cert, why wouldn't you?' The other part of me is concerned not to turn the task into an excuse for therapy and being able to present the ideas in a honest and accessible way. I let Paul and the other thoughts float around, making a point not to attach to any in particular until closer to the event.

2015-04-07 21.13.50 2015-04-07 21.12.16

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Comment by National Theatre Wales on May 4, 2015 at 22:56

This sounds like a very interesting and challenging piece of work Stephen.

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