Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Playing with clay.

With feeling like I am going to wake up tomorrow and it will already be February... and I will be opening Making Mandela... I am spending my evenings feverishly mask making. Panic. I seam to be changing direction constantly with what I think this piece is stylistically. But masks have remained a constant. So. That's good. But with style it feels like it can be anything - or rather it can be many things - until slowly it reveals itself and then it really can't be anything.  I am in the phase of many things. An exciting and slightly scary space.  We start rehearsals on the 1st Dec. For two weeks initially. Then a small festive break and we crack on again in January. So right now it's just me... and the clay... and my dog... And sometimes my cat... in my studio.  Playing. 

Shaking up The Snow Goose

So one night walking out of the Market Theatre, the ever brilliant Yvette Hardie gave me a seminal piece of feedback on our show The Snow Goose.  She said... 'I want to see more of the goose. It is called The Snow Goose after all.' And this bore a hole into my head. Because I knew it.  I knew it was true.  I then spent the next few months working with the super talented puppeteer Alida Van Deventer making puppets... or proppets (puppet props) as she likes to call them. Alida had already made me a few things for our first run in Grahamstown which I hadn't used in that first version of the play. But by our Kalk Bay Cape Town run we were ready and they were in. For example the dead duck Frank brings home after a successful hunting trip to the marsh...

James Cairns as Rhayader with the birds and the hanging sky... or the sea... or his paintings. 
The other thing very important thing that happened was I spent three weeks watching the most wonderful theatre in Denmark... (The April Festival thanks to Assitej Demark & South Africa and the Theatre Arts Admin Collective Cape Town)... and I saw how they take their time to create an image. Allowing the image to arrive... and settle... before they move on. This gave me more confidence to really make the decisions I was only playing with. And I'm so glad I did. Here are a few pics taken by Dex Goodman from our Kalk Bay Theatre run. Next up... we will be coming to Auto & General Theatre on the Square in the first quarter of next year... Super excited.

Taryn Bennett as Frith under the twinkle of a string of fairy lights. 
So we got to making flying goose sculptures... hanging a blue sky canvas backdrop... contructing little paper boats... attaching many a goose to the end of many a dowel stick. There is a lot to be said for 'lick & stick' brown parcel paper!

I painted the whole set bringing colour onto the stage. There was something nice about the raw wood... but it was rather bland.

I made a few new masks.  Yay.  One of them ended up sneaking into 'Hamlet!'  Played by the same actor in very different ways... funny.  What necessity allows.

Oh.  And I ordered WW2 helmets on line while in Denmark.  That was exciting.  Vika - who ordered them for me - now receives regular emails from 'epic militaria.'  Ah the places theatre will take you.

So lots of changes.  Thats the thing about theatre.  It really does take time.

Our first run was really much more about script, structure and mask play.

For this second run there were minimal (but very important) script changes... with loads more design elements.

I think watching the show from backstage with the amount the actors have to do is a show all on it's own.

Thanks once again to our producers Simon and Helen Cooper of KBT Productions for affording me these changes.

A painted set behind two dancing actors.
New masks for the soldiers on the beach.

Me... boat making on Vika's floor of her Copenhagen apartment... boat making and wine drinking!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Poster to sell your Show.

Designing a poster.  For a show that is not actually made yet.  Is difficult.  I know people do it all the time.  But while you may have a strong idea about the style... you get on the floor and that changes... and then so would the poster.  Gr.  Here are two idea's I really like as inspiration for the Making Mandela poster.  We'll see.  On Wednesday - I believe - from the designer.

Designed by Cristiana Couceiro found on Pinterest via Miss Modular

poster by Tunnel Bravo found on Pinterest via Design Work Life