Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Queen Jesus in the Bakehouse with Sex, Chips and the Holy Ghost under the Tree of Knowledge

Over the weekend I was performing JESUS QUEEN OF HEAVEN in the Bakehouse, Gatehouse of Fleet.

Sharing a double bill with John Harrison - an extraordinary grand old man of the theatre. One of these people whose experience and lived knowledge of theatre history is just so incredibly precious.

We were performing in Chrys Salt’s kitchen. It’s a large room where the old bakery oven was, and where the bread was made.

There’s a platform on one corner, with a small lighting rig focused on it. And that’s where you stand to perform, in really close proximity to the 30 strong audience the room can hold.

The whole event has a wonderfully hospitable feel to it - upstairs in my room waiting to perform, I can hear Chrys and her partner Richard welcoming the audience like valued house guests.

It was a real pleasure to perform there - I felt relaxed, utterly at home on that very friendly stage.

Afterwards the audience fold up their chairs, stack them in the foyer, and in a miraculous kind of way the space turns back into kitchen, dining and sitting room, for a post performance supper that had a real air of celebration to it.

It felt like a real privilege to be performing there.

Yesterday I was back in Glasgow, going through the first draft of our SEX CHIPS AND THE HOLY GHOST. The three of us have been developing this piece for a while now - 3, or is it 4? - development weeks spread out over a couple of years. Our improvisations have been the basis of the first draft i wrote just before TREE OF KNOWLEDGE rehearsals started.

That’s what we were working through yesterday.

It’s basically the same process I always go through alone - I become all the characters, all the actors, director and audience as I go through it line by line.

Wonderful to be able to perform my part aloud, test it out with my fellow actor David Walshe, hear his response, and to have our work witnessed by Susan Worsfold’s expert eye.

Then back to TREE OF KNOWLEDGE rehearsals today... very aware of the intense demands the script is making of the actors and their beautiful creative response to it.

Thinking, bit dazed with tiredness, how it wasn’t that long ago that I became aware of my need to work far less in isolation, collaborate more, and perform more.

Wishes do come true, obviously....
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