Friday, November 17, 2006

About style

I have been thinking recently about styles of theatre and performance. Especially producing the Feast of New Theatre, I have been watching 6 groups go through rehearsal processes (with the goal of developing the playwright's script) and presentations and the work they have been doing to craft believable and interesting stories and characters.

I have been thinking about the term "theatre installation" and what it suggests - the way in visual arts you go to a gallery and see a body of work usually by one artist or one group working together, yet the pieces of art there don't concern the same characters moving through a linear narrative. Often the works are linked by a broad theme, question or message and aren't meant to be viewed in any particular order or to influence one another very strongly.

This is what I would like to be possible in the theatre as well - a performance that brings many things to light and asks many related questions but not always by showing what happens to one group of people over a certain period of time.

This is obvious to many practitioners of theatre internationally, but in the Christchurch theatre community I really feel a strong predeliction for narrative structure as the only way to express whatever is to be expressed.

Above, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in Velvet Goldmine, an inspiration for a costume I hope to make for the show...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Flight Patterns

Today I am thinking up a title, so I can make an ad for the Feast of New Theatre programme. Over the past week and a half, we have co written a poem for use in the play (I have decided to refer to it as a "theatre installation" in publicity materials), and the idea of "flight patterns" came up.

I have been wondering how much the show that is evolving from our time together is really about love, or whether some other ideas are coming through more strongly.

"Flight patterns" seems to capture something about the way we skirt around love, how we look for it, ask for it, try to understand it. I also like the idea of flight, of fleeing, in situations where we are hurt or feel old hurts coming to the surface, or are simply afraid of showing ourselves to another person, or of commitment.

The piece seems to be more about desire, which is interesting when I think about Tweedie's byline to "In the Name of Love" - "a study of human desire" or something. I think all along what has been interesting to me is not so much what love is like, what love is, but rather what we mistake for love, the things we get wrapped up in, the romance, the passion, the idea and expectation of love that can be so different from the reality.

Julieanne: suddenly your launch/birthday present becomes so relevant!