Tomorrow I head back in to the rehearsal room to play with what is known and hopefully, discover what is not yet known as I enter the final phase of making One.
Later in the week I will have some time with a technician/designer who is going to help me make sense of the space and tie up the visual loose ends. The original aim was to have a finished show by this Friday which would then give me two weeks before the performance date at The Carriageworks to tidy and learn it. It still feels manageable but being back in the space alone brings a certain anxiety… What I have feels solid enough. I don’t want to dilute it.
Three weeks ago I spent the week with Ellie Harrison working as an outside eye – unsurprisingly she was brilliant. Probing but never imposing. She understood the need for my voice to be authentic. Mid-week we called in back-up in the form of Matt Rogers for a day and by the end of that day I had seven aims. Seven things that I want the show to be, the audience to feel and to understand. It was a pivotal moment that meant I could go back to all the material I had and look at what truly, if at all, answered/questioned any of those aims.
At that point I had to go through the very painful (and I mean surprisingly so) process of letting go of much of what I had created. Some of the devices/ themes while fun to play with did not fit anymore. Some of the writing that I was particularly proud of did not fit anymore. A lot of the things I had scratched in front of audiences did not fit anymore. There was a moment of abject panic – THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT! Of course that was nonsense. What I had just had more space, made more sense and wasn’t overly complicated. I showed it to a small, friendly group of artists and they asked useful questions and made gently critical observations.
It is armed with these questions and observations that I head back in to the space and think about my place in it, the world I am creating and how I welcome my audience in to it because in 18 days, that is exactly what I will be doing. It’s exciting… and not a little terrifying (but in a good way).