September 7th, 2015
Last week was our final week of workshops for the Ouseburn Farm’s holiday programme. The last three workshops were spent almost in a state of ‘live rehearsal’ as we looked ahead to the work-in-progress showings that went ahead on the Friday afternoon.
With over half the show taking place outside we anxiously checked the weather reports to see if the day would be kind to us. Thankfully it was and the stockpile of umbrellas we’d brought from home weren’t needed. Of course that is just one day and if we’re going to tour this in outside spaces over the long term, the UK weather is bound to get us at some point so how we cope with inclement weather will be important.
The showings themselves lasted for about an hour and had a story and structure that had evolved over the past couple of weeks. The challenges were primarily logistical, with just two actors playing a variety of insects with different costumes in different locations it was crucial to figure out a route around the garden for both of them that was easy to follow and meant they had the time to change costume. The showings were well received with some useful feedback coming from the audience and many things to think about going forward.
It’s looking likely that we’ll be back in rehearsals in early 2016 to shape what we’ve done into something closer to the actual show the public will see. We’ve come to really like this way of working – a few periods of concentrated working with time in between for thinking and writing. it seems to give us space and clarity when making pieces which we find extremely useful. So until then I’ll be looking over everything we created and figuring out where to go from here.
It’s been a great summer and we’d like to thank the Ouseburn Farm for hosting us, Dr Vivek Nityananda for his insect expertise, our brilliant actors Hannah Goudie and Aron De Casmaker for their limitless energy and invention, Newcastle University and Arts Council England for their support, Byker, Hotspur and St Lawrence’s RC Primary Schools and of course everyone who came along (several hundred of you) to the workshops to explore your inner insect!