The Performance.

 

This module was a hard module for me as throughout I struggled to come up with an idea I was passionate about. I had loads of ideas which ranged from body obsessions to loss to the subject of intimacy and getting close to people; especially the opposite sex. Once I had decided on the theme I wanted to concentrate on I had to come up with an idea. I eventually decided on doing a performance on the person that has influenced (in a bad way) on how I am with people today; especially the opposite sex. My Dad!. I came up with the idea of creating a park (where we first met after many years) and telling a story about the last time he betrayed my trust.

 

Performance day:: Studio set up

Performance day:: Studio set up. (Thompson, 2014)

I had three benches on either side of the studio creating a traverse performance space. I sat and performed on the middle bench on the right side of the studio. I was going to create an actual park, with swings and slides but it wasn’t relevant to my story, however, the benches where. I wanted the benches as people tell their life stories when their in the park with other parents.  I wanted to set it in a park for two reasons; 1. because the story begins there and 2. because parks are a happy place, I used to go there when i was a child and would be the happiest child there and I wanted to juxtapose the feelings and atmosphere that comes with the park. Adding to the atmosphere I used a sound scape of happy children playing and occasionally an ice cream van playing, yet again highlighting the happy which juxtaposes the sadness and intensiveness of the story being presented.

The story was set near Christmas, however, it was still sunny so i wanted the lights to reflect that. I had blue, yellow, white, green, orange and red, a mixture between autumn and winter because of the weather. To texture the lighting i added a twiggy gobo to represent the shadows from the bareness of the tree’s surrounding.

The performance began at 2:30pm, i had the audience capped at 15-20 as I wanted the audience to sit on the benches, so  could create an intimate setting. I also wanted people to stand as parents are usually stood as well. However, looking back on the performance I could have had more people as I feel there was enough room and it still would have been intimate.

I started the performance being ‘Daddies Little Girl’ the girl I wanted to be as a child. I wanted to start the performance with a sense of naivety, the naivety children have towards the world of relationships and family. Children see the world through rose tinted glasses, free from problems. I then go onto say “That’s the girl I wanted to be” highlighting the fact i didn’t have a relationship with my dad. Throughout the performance I go on to tell a story about my father and how he betrayed me for the last time, the story I feel was intense and emotionally draining on my part. Throughout the process of writing, progressing, rehearsing to performing was an emotional rollacoster of a ride. This makes me think of how much of this process was in fact a release for me and how far would I go to say how much of it was some sort of therapy for myself. I feel may solo performance artists go through this, such as Marina Abramović and Adrian Howells, many of their performances where influenced on their past. Abramović a communist past with little intimacy as a child with parents. Also Howells, he struggled with intimacy we know this as it states, I know how nourishing physical contact can be. I’m creating work about it because I don’t get it in my own life” (LGBTICONS, 2014 online), his performances did influence that, performances such as May I Have the Pleasure…? (2011).

In the performance i talk about the first meeting I have at the park with him, I had a lighting change which highlighted the empty seat next t me on the bench.. I wanted to highlight the empty seat to highlight the fact that although he was there on the bench with me at the time, he was still absent in his physical self and mind with the relationship we had; “all the upset, all the disappointments, all the empty promises”.

The empty seat. (Olerenshaw, 2014)

The empty seat. (Olerenshaw, 2014)

The performance itself went quite smoothly, I could’nt rehearse the performance much during the process as I struggled to get through it without breaking down. However, during the performance itself I controlled my emotion well. If I had to do the performance again i would have more audience members and would animate the different characters more.

Work Cited

LGBTICONS (2014) Adrian Howells: Death of an Icon [Online] Available from http://lgbticons.com/2014/03/20/adrian-howells-death-of-an-icon/  [Accessed 21st May 2014].

Published in: Solo Performance on May 21, 2014 at5:40 pm Comments (0)

Assessment Period

Monday 19th – Wednesday 21st 25 solo performances took place. Unfortunately i wasn’t able to attend them all as many sold out quite quickly due to capped seating. Over the three days i have seen a ray of talent; each solo performance was different and explored different issues. With reference to the ones i have watched i have seen many influences; i found That Jade Beastall was influenced by solo artist Amy Taubin. Jade used live feed and projection in her performance; letting the audience view her in different ways. Jake Robinson was influenced by the monologuist Spalding grey; sharing stories of part of his youth in South Africa. Jake presented different characters all influenced from his past.

Bonney states that solo performance consists of the performer, “presenting their personal observations, convictions and fears, share an intimacy with their audience, built purely from their live presence and their words” (Bonney 2000, p. xxi). I feel throughout the performances i have seen, many have achieved this and those who didn’t shared their past. For example, Charlotte Restall’s performance was child like. However, her performance did share an intimacy with the audience, it brought me back to my childhood years of imagination and pretend. Charlotte’s performance would definitely do with as a children’s performance, as it was multi-sensory which would be perfect for all children, especially children with learning difficulties.. I was truly inspired by the performances seen throughout the three days of assessments. The Solo performance module has been hard; and i am extremely proud of what our year has achieved throughout this semester.

 

Work Cited:

Bonney, Jo (ed.) (2000) Extreme Exposure: an anthology of solo performance texts from the twentieth century. New York: Theatre Communications Group.

Published in: Solo Performance on at4:58 pm Comments (0)

The Day my performance is based on

 

Who knew, a regular day at the park would change my insight on life , forever.

 

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This is a picture of myself my sister and my brother, William and Emily.

Credit: Naomi Linstead Date: Autumn 2012

Published in: Solo Performance on May 8, 2014 at1:08 pm Comments (0)

First Draft of Monologue

I’ve highlighted parts of my monologue in different colours to highlight when i am going to portray a different character.
Purple: Is myself in my second year at universty
Green: William or Emily
Red: Myself when i was a little girl
Black: Present self.

Untitled

Published in: Solo Performance on May 1, 2014 at1:57 pm Comments (0)

Adrian Howells

Adrian Howells has been one of many influences throughout the process of developing my latest piece. Howells’ performances explored the notion of intimacy “I know how nourishing physical contact can be. I’m creating work about it because I don’t get it in my own life” (LGBTICONS, 2014 online). Throughout Howells performances he created a personal relationship with the audience members, so they then felt comfortable to  be themselves for the performance. Howell’s confessional pieces then went on and influenced my decision about composing a piece which related to intimacy.

Adrian Howells

Adrian Howells in ‘Foot-washing for the sole’ (2008)

Howells created an alter-ego named Adrienne, performances which included where confessional also, breaking the conventional theatre space, ‘Adrienne’ set the performances in domestic settings, for example Dirty Laundry (2004)was set in a working laundrette and Salon Adrienne (2005)was set in a working salon. Although, having an alter-ego was successful, being yourself in a performance is brave. May I Have The Pleasure…? (2011), premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe festival; this intimate performance was set as a wedding reception, where Adrian was just being himself. He explored the happiness and loneliness of weddings. throughout the piece there are images of snippets of wedding he has been to. The performance is filled with audience participation and laughter, however, “his humour is immersed in his insecurity, his need to connect to other human beings, and fear of what the future holds for him as a single homosexual man” (Stentiford, 2011). I admire Howells for exploring the intimate side towards love and loneliness.

People could consider Howells performances to be self indulgent, but when your doing a solo performance isn’t it going to be self indulgent anyway? Solo performances develop from something you are passionate about, Howell’s was passionate about exploring the personal relationship and intimacy with the audience and i feel he executed it well. I was scared about showing something so intimate and personal in my life, but Howells has given me the confidence to present my performance and show the audience why i have intimacy issues and the betrayal that led me to the position i am in today

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

LGBTICONS (2014) Adrian Howells: Death of an Icon [Online] Available from http://lgbticons.com/2014/03/20/adrian-howells-death-of-an-icon/ [Accessed April 26th 2014].

Stentiford, Althea (2011) May I Have The Pleasure..? [Online] Available from http://www.fringereview.co.uk/fringeReview/4307.html [Accessed April 26th 2014].

Image: Gardner, Lyn (2014) Adrian Howells Obituary [Online] Available from  http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/mar/24/adrian-howells [Accessed 26th April 2014].

Published in: Composition of Performance, Solo Performance on April 28, 2014 at2:57 pm Comments (0)