Within our current show Only Wolves And Lions we have made a conscious decision to try and be ourselves; not to ‘act’ or to be very clear when we are occupying different states. We have attempted to clearly define the moments when we are ‘acting’, when we are ‘presenting’ pre-constructed ideas and when we are spontaneously ‘in the moment’ with the audience. The reasoning for this attempt at clarity and honesty in performance is that I want the audience to feel they are genuinely interacting with the space, the performers and their fellow audience members, to trust the context and feel free to be themselves. Within these current projects we are trying to address the ambiguous space between performance and life, between presentation and participation.
I created Only Wolves And Lions as a reflection on the ease with which we can become void of community and isolated within large cities. I wanted to reflect on how this affected levels of happiness and the reasons why we may, as a society, be lured into this isolating state. My hope is that the show provides space for audiences to reflect on these issues.
We have so far had great reactions to the work. People don’t know where to place it. They cannot workout where they are and what they should define the space as. This ambiguity cultivates a sense of autonomy and ownership, where the audience begin defining the communication platform themselves. There have been great moments of political discourse surrounding international economics and governmental responsibility. There have also been heartfelt discussions surrounding loneliness and community, religiosity and the family. It entirely depends on the audience present on the night.
There have been revelations from audience members surrounding their relationship to their own lives, families, friends and work. Revelations that they have implied might affect the rest of their lives and which were facilitated by the context of the event.
I am incredibly excited by this trajectory of work. I feel it is original and deeply connected to who I am and what I want for myself and for the world around me.
An unlikely theatre-goer returned to see this show after seeing my last show: It’s Like He’s Knocking, (presented last year at the same space: The Theatre In The Mill, Bradford). He really appreciated the past piece and celebrated this new work as well. He said that he still remembered a quote that was written on a piece of paper stuck to the wall as part of the design for It’s Like He’s Knocking; ‘when the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves become to far from the truth about ourselves, mental health issues arise’
Fundamentally I think it might all be about finding an authentic voice for me. Once people recognize that they are in a creative process with someone willing to be themselves they are able to be themselves and then real exchange, consideration and possibley even transformation can occur.
And that brings me on to my idea for the next show… but that’s another story…