Tuesday 15th December 2009.
An excellent session on Brecht's Lehrstuck this morning with Chris using The Decision to demonstrate that participation in active debate was the main purpose of work rather than polished performance. Again we're exploring some of the forerunners of the ideas and techniques that underpinned Freire and Boal's poetics of the oppressed, as well the Drama in Education and TIE movements in Britain that developed in the sixties and seventies. Already the links between these particpatory and democratic ideas and the work on the Fasuto play are becoming apparent to us all.
This afternoon an unexpected treat - a group trip to see the incredible Stalagtites in the Cueva El Sopalo across the valley from Bielva. Miners accidently discovered the cavern in 1905 and since then over twenty kilometres of tunnels have been openned up, all breathtaking in their ancient beauty.
We journeyed half a kilometre underground to find a gorgeous and ornate cathedral cave. Our consdierate guide gave us lots of geological detail, but I was happy just to look at the incredible formations of rossettes, plumes and columns. We spent an hour underground moving through the grandly named chambers, including The Opera House - so called it appeared because of a taped backing track of arias attempting the bizarre illusion of singing calcite. Sometimes the theatrical is in the thing itself!
Back in the village, rehearsals moved into the performance space, a little bar shaped like a diamond, complete with mirror ball and luminous paint on the walls. Charmer Nucu, who plays Fausto, joined us along with Carmen, the eighty six year old, silver backed, matriarch of the village who affectionately uses her script to thwack the person nearest to her around the head whenever she drops a line. We quickly learn to give prompts with caution.