Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hello Elephant

Clowns in Life... What a brilliant and wonderful thing.  Looking at the world through open naive eyes... like children.  What do you know when you know nothing... it seams that you know a lot more actually.  Clowns have the ability to open doors on very large issues... ask impossible questions... say things that only children can say... things that you wouldn't dare say without the little red nose allowing the space to play... with things that matter.  Things which in the real world make you cry.  It is quite something.  But here you laugh not because it's funny but because the perspective is naive, and therefore true, and therefore funny.  You could cry and laugh at the same time.  And we were all once naive.  One of Ella's little friends at about age 4 walked up to a man who only had one leg...

Little Girl: Where is your other leg?
Man: I lost it.
Little Girl: I'll go look for it.
And the man burst out laughing.

Clowns can deal with things like poverty, death, loneliness, fear... with a simplicity and honesty that is arresting.

This week we have had poetic windows opened with clowns posting personal ads in the newspaper, looking for love to escape their loneliness... clowns going to see their psychologist to deal with their personal problems.  All very very funny and often with staggering depth.  Poetry in simplicity.  Children know much more than we think.  But somewhere along the line we get lost.  We grow up.  We forget how to stay in the present moment.  What a pity.

'Fiona' and 'Andromeda' looking out the window of their small aeroplane looking for the Elephant

Andromeda opens the ear of the elephant while Fiona asks important questions...

One of the interesting things about clown, we have learnt, is that whilst simultaneously being right there on stage addressing the audience directly they are at the same time completely in the imagined world... Like talking to an Elephant in the Kalahari Desert...  Hello Elephant.

Meanwhile... I am also making another mask... on the other side of the life spectrum... an old lady.  In our very first project this year we did a piece about old people and old age.  It was an unmasked piece and I thought a nice tie up to this year would be to end with a mask inspired by that work... which changed how I see theatre.  Deep.  But it's true.

My work-in-progress mask mould... Slowly something arrives as Matteo our ever brilliant mask teacher says.

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