This is going to be quite a personal and creative update, compared to the last two, which were a bit like press releases. I’m happy to say that today has been a good and naturally creative day.
My agitation over the last year about how this project might come into being, who to cast, whether we would get funded, and all of the technical detail that became so dauntingly real once we got the green light from ACW, left me with a lot of problem solving and management detail to tackle.
I started rehearsing with the company very much in the mode of a technician and producer, rather than being what I would want from a director. The cast have done great work in responding to what has been very dry choreography, as they learnt the set pieces that have worked well in the past with other performers.
I feel a little guilty for not giving them time to learn how I’ll work, and for not giving them time to understand how and why they’re doing what I’m asking. It’s circus we’re making, and choreography is the skeleton of how we show it.
Yesterday, Phil Mackenzie came in to look at what we’d been making during our first few days, and talked about Objective, Context and Strategy. When he left, us circus types agreed that he was very inspiring, but wrong. It’s CIRCUS! Of course the choreography and tricks come first! etc.
Lo, and behold. Today was a new and naturally creative day, with the odd cheeky wink about objectives, context etc., we made some great work that we all feel very happy with. The word inspirational might be laying it on a bit thick but certainly, Phil provoked and unblocked the flow (ahem).
This is my first show as a director. I flatter myself that I’ve been in the thick of the creation of enough circus theatre shows to have learnt when to trust, provoke, delegate and make choices. Today was a nice, easy going process, creating the blocks from which we’re building a real and charming show that shows off our skills, how we’ve found our own way of working together and will eventually perform in a way that says so. The idea of ‘eventually’ became the operative word today. Whilst saying that, we are pretty tight on time.
More news, as it happens. . .