Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Finding the Ritual Journey.

We beginning to move from improvisation to fixing routines and rituals. A great deal rides on the way the Drama St Marys and El Glayu actors work. They've got to be faultless, confident and in complete control so that we can ask the Uppingham actors and Casterton drummers to take a lead from them. El Glayu are working really hard, but are slightly reluctant to take on the responsibility for setting a consistent standard. I'm relying on them to set the scale of performance and to fuel the show with energy. The younger students will respond, but they've got to have a steer. For Soph, Becks, Vicks and Emma, fresh from The Canterbury Tales it's a familiar demand.

The weather didn't help today. Squally showers disrupted us and we never seemed to get a clear ten minutes before we had to dash for cover in one of the barns. Still little by little we began to convince ourselves that with care, focus and attention we would be able to create something moving and memorable that hints at the pain of leaving home, the resilience of a determined journey and the diplomacy of arrival in a strange land. I'd argue that all stories follow this same path leading from a known past, through a challenging present and onwards towards an uncertain but exciting future; textured sporadically with set back, trial, tribulation and ultimately some form of understanding. Our scenic interpretation is now beginning to parallel the narrated story of the transformation of the Gwash valley into a reservoir and the sung Osprey narratives both of each birds annual journey and the return of the species to Rutland after 140 year exile. The layers of the spectacle are beginning to settle.

There are still a few gaps - but a think we might be able to work with Harry and his wings to fill these. I'm not sure yet we've paid enough attention to showing off the puppets themselves and I'd like to honour the craftsmanship of the designers and makers by simply demonstrating the virtuosity of their creations, to the largest possible audience.


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