As you might expect I am more interested in the work I have yet to make than the work I have made. Perhaps because the work I haven’t made hasn’t disappointed me. I want to make work that has a crafted quality, which is about things that matter. I want to make work that feels like it would only work in the space that it is showing in and I want to explore all of the ways that the audience feels part of the event. Ideas arrive all the time and I am certain that many of the things I will go on to do I haven’t thought of yet. But here are a few of the thoughts that are currently swimming about in my head. some of them have been there too long – and it looks like the elephant is going to finally surface next year…..
It’s a wonderful life
I have been musing making a production of this for village halls for some time. Not as an adaptation of the film but as an event. The delight of bringing small town America and a story about the part we all play feels right. It’s always been about sorting out the rights but i think we are there now…
a few words in defence of my country
The title comes from a Randy Newman song but its a long held thought. We struggle with Englishness in a way that the Scots, Welsh and Irish dont. I know this is part to do with Empire and partly because the far right have high jacked the flag. But it comes at a price. there was something surfacing in the Olympics that was a positive expression of a set of values I could relate to. (i know we competed as GB) and i would love to make a piece of theatre that allowed a conversation about the English.
Home sweet home
I think this idea is going to happen. working with PuSh in Vancouver, Aarhaus in Denmark and Paz in Germany we want to explore the relatively simple idea of making the artists each of us work with feel at home in each others community. Rather grandly we are describing it as a post funding model in which artists and companies can work internationally.
The image is Victoria Melody’s Northern Soul.
The Great Hedge of India
This was a customs barrier built by the British rulers across India in the 1840s to facilitate collecting the heavy salt tax. The barrier consisted of fences, stone walls, and a nearly impenetrable barrier of trees, thorny bushes, and hedges, with periodic guard stations. The hedge was forgotten in India as well as in Britain, without even passing mentions in standard histories, until its existence was unearthed by Roy Moxham, a conservator at the University of London Library. At the peak of its existence, the Customs Line ran nearly 2,000 miles (3,200 km), and was manned by about 12,000 personnel actively patrolling and guarding the barrier. My thought is that there is something wonderfully English and revelatory in this story.
Godalming, which is just up the road from Farnham, was the first town to have public lighting. There has to be an event in this, perhaps a touring show for village halls about the night the lights were switched on. Funnily in Godalming the idea didn’t catch on and after a few years they were turned of.
Swimming in Iran
Kevin Dyer and I have been working for three years now on the idea of making a piece about and with Iran. Making it with is proving hard but the plan is to create a piece of theatre that involves eating for village halls next year.