Archive

Performance Skills

Ralf Weztel contacted me just three weeks ago from Brussels in dire need of a maker who could replicate a cheap plastic mask in something more durable (Paper Maché).

I met with him in Edinburgh last Tuesday, took a cast of the mask, brought it home and made the mask in time to post it on Monday so he could perform with it on Tuesday. He has a one man show throughout the Edinburgh Festival (August 2019.) Go see the show and tell me all about it as I am unable to make a return trip to Scotland.

Sometimes a tight deadline can be an exciting challenge, this one certainly was.             Felt good though, timing fell into place. As I was in the north anyway, a day trip to Edinburgh was an easy diversion  away from family in Berwick upon Tweed..                                                                                                        I do love it when there is a tangible  purpose to a job.

Ralf Wetzel    (Belgium)         ‘Absolutely Reliable!’  by Ralf Wetzel and Lee Delon

Venue C cubed, Brodie’s Close, Lawnmarket, EdinburghEH1 2PS, venue 50                                        Dates 1-25 Aug (not 13)    Time 22:00 (0hr50)                                                                            Ticket prices £9.50-£11.50 / concessions £7.50-£9.50 / under 18s £5.50-£7.50

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The early summer has been dominated by this project in Leicestershire, working with Andy Barret, The 1620 House, a Primary School and Dragon’s Breath Theatre. I can’t believe I had never heard of this extraordinary person, Sir Kenelm Digby. Our Ken was a proto scientist, diplomat, privateer, man of letters and inventor. Such an inspiration to all of us involved.

The House and Garden are a delight. Visitors are encouraged to truly interact with the place as most ‘things’ in the house are replica’s and therefore handleable. This was the home of the sister of Sir Kenelm. She who modernised the medieval building with new windows in 1620. The garden is laid out as of the time with a maze, herbarium and roses.

In the House we told the story of Sir Kenelm  Digby and his world.  I, as Dr Jon (Phenomenologist,)  took  on the role of a scientist looking back at 17th Century through the five senses, smell, taste, sound, sight and touch. Andy in role as an Historian, told the story of Sir Kenelm, of 17th Century  world view and the rise of science out of superstition. Sir Kenelm was the son of one of the Bonfire Plot conspirators.

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Back at the school the children spent three days with us to make manifest their own story of the visit to the 1620 House and of Sir Kenelm Digby, his wife Venetia, through puppetry, scientific experiments, writing (prose and poetry), image making and performance.

A fascinating journey for us all, with history and science made alive.

May 18th & 19th.  For these two day I had a table full of masks at The Poppy and Pint.

Lots of lovely conversations about masks and peoples experiences of them, some performers but mainly from the point of view of witnesses of transformative events. The Venice Carnival came up a lot. Each day at lunchtime I did a walkabout through the main streets enjoying the public reactions to The Old Lady with her Boy in her Basket.  Many people up for engaging with her and asking her questions she can answer by nodding yes or no. Some children had fun pretending to be frightened of her, but as they kept coming back for more they made their game clear.

3RD SPACE Studios Exhibition opening event this evening at 6.00 p.m.

Tope Floor of Surface Gallery upto and including  Saturday 11th May

Celebrating our ten years of existence and the ten artists who are current members.

This evening Stephen Jon and his crew shall be performing as ‘The Critics’ and later  he will be adding another layer to the large charcoal drawing.

Join him for a Charcoal Drawing workshop next Wednesday  2.00 till 4.00 p.m.

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When the Clown meets the Mask ????                           ‘PLAY” taking pleasure in an activity.

Saturday 23rd March 2019  at ‘Playworks’ Nottingham

Angela Hayes and Amanda Scofield, who are ‘the red herrings’   joined me, Stephen Jon Mask-Maker to play and share skills and experiences. This is continuing action research into the links between Comedy,  Clown and Mask.  We invited 11 associates from the physical theatre world to join us in this exploration.                                                               We payed specific  reference to:                                                                                                Safety and Play: our professionalism and experience makes us safe.    The mask and noses contribute by defining the ritualised space/ the play space/ the safe space /the theatrical space, where anything can happen.                                                                                                          Ensemble: The Individual and the Herd. Looking at how we establish and maintain trust and awareness of our co-conspirators. So much pleasure in playing in a gang.      Character and non-naturalistic theatre. A magnifying glass onto real /authentic expressions of relationships and emotion.

Release        Access         Pleasure         Improvisation           Visceral         Transgress

Clown           Mask            Play                 Embodiment             Naivety           Freedom

Some of the masks, we used. Noses, Quarter Masks, Half Masks and Full Face Masks

We want to do more of this ……..  What will come next ?  …….

Now fully painted and photographed  in action

Following last Saturday exploring with professional chums and finding some character within these masks.                    Looking for the pleasure in our action and finding  Play.

Photographs with many thanks to Mark Curwood and for a fun morning of reflection and laughter.                                                                                                      To be continued.