Day 1. It’s All Part of the Process.

I am sat on the first B in the B&B. I’m feeling tired. Not need-more-sleep tired, more need-a-glass-of-wine-after-today tired. I’m hoping this blog will help me process the day a bit. I don’t know how much to write about my own personal experience, perhaps I should talk more about the games we played or the conversations we had, but its all connected, its all part of the process. I think this week is going to be a bit of a challenge. I’m not used to working with groups really, particularly of this age. I’ve done the odd project here and there but usually I’m with someone else so all the responsibility is shared. I feel responsible. I want to make a good show. I want them to be happy with both the process and the outcome. For my own sake as much as theirs.

Of course its not going to be easy walking into a room and introducing a small group of 13 year old girls from Morecambe to the idea of making a show without scripts, characters, an internal monologue and the high school musical soundtrack. From a few conversations today I discovered that to them that is all you need. So if someone floats in on a contemporary theatre cloud (a cloud that she’d be more than happy to describe in great detail, probably through a microphone, before acknowledging that the cloud is metaphorical but if she could have got a cloud in she would have etc etc) and tell them that they’re going to make a body without every bone of the skeleton they are bound to be a bit skele-ptical.
 After a whole day of playing games and trying to make aspects of each one into an interesting moment of performance, showing them how narrative can be something an audience puts on to a performance instead of having it spoon fed, listing the key ingredients of  a murder mystery, exploring ‘being yourself’ in front of an audience for 2 minutes, (and still having to answer questions about what characters I’m going to make them play) we came up with the following texts:

Microphone talking,

 Moustache drawing.

 Cartwheels

 Dancing 

Shoes placed like this.

In this performance someone else has got to come up

Playing with the penny.

The penny.

Dancing together,

Leaning on a chair.

Doing a crab.

Facing the back.

In this performance I’m drawing mustaches.

In this performance we’re all dancing.

In this performance someone will walk this way.

 

In a Murder Mystery, there has to be a murder. The murder will happen during an event like a party for example. There needs to be a location.  The body gets found. Someone screams. The investigation starts. Along the way, something will have been set up, or someone is framed. Its misleading. Then there’s a twist. There might even be a cliff hanger. When I was younger I used to think that involved a clothes hanger. If that happens, nothing is concluded. Its all left up in the air.

Footsteps.

Foot prints.

Finger prints.

Police tape.

Screams.

Numbers.

Evidence.

Chalk.

Whispers.

Weapons.

A knife. A bottle. A gun. Glass. Blood. Sirens. The outline of a body.

 

The Characters:

You need a murderer.  He’d be shy. Quiet. Keeps himself to himself. Why presume its a man? It just is. He’d be a stalker. Not suspicious. A good actor. Sick. Twisted. Maybe he had a bad childhood. Or perhaps he’s just a bit of a nerd.

The Victim. The victim is… dead. But maybe there’s a reason they are dead. The victim knew something.

The Suspects. The suspects were all in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are nosy. Suspicious  Cocky. Arrogant. Short tempered. Innocent. But not completely innocent. A lot of signs point towards them. They’ve got something to hide.

The Detective. The detective is curious. Sharp. Edgy. Untrusting. Brash. Mean. Educated. Smooth. He is.. or I suppose.. she is.. it could be a woman. If its a woman she’d be a siren. Manipulative. Beautiful. Tall. Stubborn. Subtle. She’d wear blood red nail varnish.

The Witnesses. The witnesses have a guilty conscience. They saw something. They might have watched the whole thing. They didn’t do anything about it. They can help. They know things. They saw it with their own eyes. They can help solve the mystery.

The Victim’s Mum. She’d be devastated. Worried. Sad. Upset. Unless she was the murderer.. She’ll want to accuse everyone. She wont want to talk to the detective, not if she’s got something to hide..

I’m really glad to be involved in the project and am feeling very well supported. So with that in mind, as well as a plan for tomorrow to think up, I’m going down the road to the Dog and Partridge for some cheap pub grub and a very large glass of wine.

Thank you for reading by the way.

 

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One Response to “Day 1. It’s All Part of the Process.

  • Wow, it sounds pretty intense, and I really know what you mean about those feelings of responsibility. But I can think of nobody, literally nobody, who is better placed to guide these girls through all their theatrical discoveries. You are so excellent at facilitating creativity, and very compassionate and funny as well. Enjoy your well-deserved wine and good luck for tomorrow. xxx

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