Saturday, November 5, 2011
Happy with how Part Two and Three are coming along, we were eager to get Part One up to scratch. We want it to work in its own right but also to serve the other parts as much as possible, so we spent the morning adjusting the dramaturgy of Captain Ko’s scenes with Stark. There may be a few set pieces that might have to go, which is a pity as we have grown to love them so much and it is always hard editing your own work. Part One is the most fun but the most challenging. We love the genre so much and think there is so much potential in it to speak about the themes we are dealing with, and yet most of the time we spend finding clownish moments, asides and jokes that say more about the genre of science fiction than tell the story. We must keep things simple.
Had a great email from our set designer Adrian from across the pond, in which all aesthetic ideas are falling into place. Very exciting times!
Our consultant producer Kate Bowen came to the rehearsal today. Sometimes it can be incredibly useful to have fresh ears to explain ideas to, and fresh eyes to see them on stage. We worked hard explaining to Kate how each of the sections developed, and how they worked with each other and, in doing so, helped clarify a lot of things for ourselves too.
In the afternoon we worked with Susanne on the video in part 1: testing out speech bubbles, discussing different backgrounds. The aim with the video is always that it becomes more than just cheap set or pretty pictures of flowers but that it engages with the performers and becomes an extension of the dramaturgy and exploration of the themes.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Today we worked on Part 3: Fall. We had Caroline free-style an amazing sound scape and put the whole thing together in a ‘working track’ for rehearsals in 20 minutes record time before jetting off to her radio course in Bletchley Park (where she tells us she is the only female and surrounded by classic renegade radio hackers!). Have had some interesting thoughts on live filming and camera angles...just complicating the technical aspects of the show even more (!).
Two things have become apparent: the first is that Thomas’s stomach muscles are going to have to go into some intense training between now and the summer and the second is that he is going to have to learn Russian (fluently!!!!). One step at a time...
After a heated early morning discussion (still unresolved) about whether we should keep the title of the piece as Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice - officially still only our ‘working title’ - we began the morning’s session working on the first scene of Part One, taking up from where we left off the day before. Caroline arrived shortly after and set up her sound dock, after which we began to work on Part Two: Dawn. Susanne arrived excited about having finally watched 2001 A Space Odyssey. We talked at length about the beauty of the film and whether we may come even close to what it achieves in the work we are doing. We hope, on some level, we will one day. Susanne also brought us a gift (see picture).
Dan Dare - the game of the future - a thrilling journey into space!
Other films discussed today were Dogville (particularly for Part Two: Dawn) and Out of the Present.
Also discussed Tacita Dean (for a great article about the artists go to The New Yorker's http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/31/111031fa_fact_eakin) and Felicity Powell’s show at the Wellcome Collection on charms and objects (http://www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/exhibitions/charmed-life.aspx)
We drove up to Cambridge nice and early only to realise that the theatre was closed until 10.30. Called the lovely Kate who eventually found us and opened for us. We set up in the studio space - an ideal space for this piece - and began working on Part 1 of our trilogy “Captain Ko and the Planet of Rice”. Briefly spoke to Katie Sykes, associate artist at Tobacco Factory Theatre who might be doing our costumes.