Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 13:22
To: Laura Hopkins
From: Blanche McIntyre
Subject: Re: Random Seagull Stuff
I'm raising something mad here, but I realise my first reply seems to suggest we need a design that changes shape or nature according to how it is perceived.
Is that even possible, let alone effective?!
Sent: Mon , 31 Dec 2012, 11:57
To: Laura Hopkins
From: Blanche McIntyre?
Subject: More random seagull stuff
I've been turning the thoughts that we had in our meeting yesterday over and over again in my head all night. I'm starting to think that, although they're brilliant, the projected lake and the flying actors/ vertical set don't quite work together.
I think this is because one makes the play about pictures, and the other makes it about relationships in space.
That is, by projecting a fake lake that people interact with, we suggest to the audience that we're exploring the limits of naturalism and the extent to which you can trust what you see.
By putting actors in abstract physical relationships we ask the audience to take a more scientific approach - they have to discount the setting altogether, and decode the abstract forms to gather information about the characters. So this approach suggests that we're exploring how to convey the inner 'reality' of the people.
I think both are honouring Headlong's original challenge. Either we can put 'real' people in a 'fake' setting (option 1), or take something we think is the essence of our experience of reality and stage that (option two).
I like the first one but I think we'd need to do more in the way of hiding, revealing, distorting and so on, and probably have one or two more distorted/naturalistic pieces (like the card table?!). I think it would be a good idea, if we do have a lake, to have other stuff with it - otherwise we give it a massive symbolic importance, which as you say it really doesn't have. Maybe if we go down this route we end up using things like those magnifying squares or clouds of string or gauzes.
I think the second one is a more interesting idea, but I'm not sure that relationships between people count as the essence of human consciousness, unless we do something that makes it clear that their experiences of each other are subjective/ constantly shifting/ difficult to process. Probably this would need a large abstract thing onstage which they mapped onto - I think this is where you were going with the climbing frames and logs and where I was going with the star maps and x-rays.
I'm so sorry this email is so lengthy and dense - I've slightly used it to work through my thoughts, and I've not used my brain this much since I was at uni doing the compulsory philosophy paper (which made it hurt just as much). I hope some of it makes sense. Let me know where your head is at.