Another weekend spent on the community safety material. Melissa joined us to play a police woman and so we spent quite a bit of time working through the protocols for 'stop and account' and 'stop and search'. It was slightly slower progress this week, partly because we're questioning everything from language use, to demeanour, to procedure. Sometimes we find a way forward, sometimes we record our confusion so we can ask Phil and Tony back at Twickenham station.
In effect, armed with a manual, we've been trying to cram in a police training course into a couple of hours rehearsal. It's important that we get it right and because it's forum Melissa has to learn not only her initial role, but how she would react to every possible situation that the audience throws her way.
I'm really enjoying the work, however, and for all the focus on accuracy there's a playful banter and supportive spirit in the rehearsal room. I hope we can find some life for the work after it's initial showing at Twickenham rugby stadium on the 24th February. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.