Monday, January 7, 2013

A pirates life for me

Tara, Justin, Me and Freya... leaping forward in a sword fight with Jack Sparrow!  Naturally... Aaargh!
Photo by Stefano Borghi

We first did our pantomime version of Pirates of the Caribbean in October... and happily we returned to it for our final performance in December.  Happily because it was a ridiculous amount of fun.  We had a slightly bumpy road getting to the final version... which of course it to be expected with devised work and new theatrical territories.  We went from being way to silent in our original version to being way too loud...  one could call it untreated shouting, with loads of over explanatory dialogue... thus becoming redundant.  Ja.  The stuff of theatrical nightmares.  So basically our explaining was taking more space than our action.  Yes.  A wonderfully important dramatic question posed by Giovanni in our pre-view performance... 'How long do you need to do something until the audience gets it?  Do you need to totally finish something... or rather evoke it and then move on.'  Last night I was watching the Woody Allen documentary and in the edit suite he will not take more of the audiences time than is necessary.  A wonderfully important lesson.  So here's to moving on... when necessary.

With all of this insight... first being too silent, then being too loud... we made brutal edits.  We fully embraced the advise from Matteo... 'be inspired by the movie don't try and recreate it'... and we did.  Finding fun ways to mask the voice... like an actor doing the voice for another character.  Careful choices with dialogue... what does the audience have to know that they can't see.  Being totally clear with our key images... like the reveal of Jack Sparrow.  Ta daaa.  It was so much fun.  The first night of our performance we were quite freaked out as we had made a stack of changes and were hoping like hell we would remember them all... but for the most part we did... and where we didn't somehow our energy was so high that we 'moved on' without giving anyone - even ourselves - time to think about it.  Ho ho ho ho a pirates life for me!  Ha haaa!

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