Out of green space, into the cinema & back again!
I’m a big fan of the big picture. My interest in the sky at night spills away from popular science into the realms of women’s moon groups, tarot symbology and tuning into the words of The Great Dudes of the Internet (good astrologers). Writing and directing chime with this interest, although in my case, one is a vocation, the other is a preferred activity.
Anyone who has studied Scriptwriting at MA/MFA level will have done some variation on ‘the diegesis session’ – an hour or two of gobbling mind confectionary in the form of questions…What are the rules of your fictitious world? Which are natural/manmade/supernatural? What is the landscape like? What colour are the bricks at noon in September etc…what is your characters idiom etc. ad-infinitum.
As a theatre-maker who produces, I’ve started to enjoy seeing projects in this way. I’ve recently been juggling two live performance projects, two worlds, two massively differing contexts. GREEN_SPACE is a thirty minute, small-scale, outdoor show based on ethnographic interviews within a small community. TRANSFORMER is an indoor, sixty minute, midscale show inspired by the texts of Hollywood and the universal experiences of a global audience. The former employed the knowledge and experiences of non-regular venue attendees and the latter has employed the knowledge and discourse of Film academics. One is exterior, presenting a microcosm (a community garden), one is interior casting its dice at the macrocosm. One will enjoy a niche in festivals dedicated to a sub-culture growing towards the mainstream, and one will find a home in venues hosting a more widely accepted subculture – live theatre!
The cyclical relationship between audience outreach, marketing and show content has and will be contrasting also. Word of mouth may be substituted for the word on social platforms/websites and audiences expectations will be instigated and met/subverted in different, well-meaning ways.
The above might sound quite ‘duh!’ or comparable to calling the Pope Catholic. But switching between these two project diegesies has underlined the joy to be found in making, discovering and breaking divergent sets of rules. This will be a theme of the ACE supported literature project I am about to begin and I can’t wait to share its world shortly
…more on that and the value of discussing a theatre piece with film academics in a tick!