Research draft written the next few days are all about shaping the development work ahead and listening to, and playing with, the ideas of all collaborators, in order to push the work forwards, into the sun.
Schedules are in place for the event days at the New Wolsey Ipswich, York Theatre Royal and the Lowry in Salford, now it’s a case of working out how best to fill in the detail and how best to use the limited time.
At each event participants are coming from all over the UK to work with the creative team and the Dark Horse ensemble to add their voices to the score (we want this production to include as much input as possible from people with Downs’ Syndrome and other learning disabilities).
Theatre companies including DIY, Hubbub, Razed Roof and the Freewheelers will be attending and joining in with the work and we’re looking at three busy days filled with movement, sound and exploration of story.
The creative team have the development script, the shape. Their work is beginning. Their explorations in sound, movement, set and costume and character are what the next stage in the process is all about, moving words from page to stage, an enormous amount of energy is about to be released.
Composer and Sound designer Loz Kaye will focus on the soundscape, developing the story through what the audience will hear, complementing and counterpointing the narrative, recording soundbites, working with participants and team to find a musical framework and work with an explosion of sound on each event day.
Designer Pip Leckenby will look at the places in the story, inside and outside worlds, the objects that people use and the clothes that they wear so that imagined environments can begin to be constructed, Pip will make it real.
Movement Director Ita O’Brien will explore the physicality of the characters, their relationship to the world and to each other and work with team and participants to explore storytelling, character, place and state through the body.
Actor Tessa Parr will work with the team and the other actors to explore the character of SAMANTHA, questioning her intentions and working through her journey, finding flaws, making discoveries and developing the relationship between her character and that of her on stage brother, CLARENCE.
Joe Sproulle, THE MAN, Toby Meredith, CLARENCE and Rebekah Hill, BABY will work with team and participants to develop their characters, improvising and engaging with games and exercises to explore their characters journeys through the play.
Their colleagues from the Dark Horse ensemble will work through the whole process too, inputting ideas and shaping a crucial backbone to the work.
Alongside this fantastic creative team venues, partners and a few invited guests will be a big part of the three days too, having a stake in the development of a piece of work which aims to engage and have relevance for audiences across the U.K.
Here we go…