Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reporting from Hatfield

We arrived at the University of Hertfordshire, a four year new, campus, to find our performance space, the 450 seat expansive Weston auditorium that resembles an upside down football helmet. We spent the afternoon drinking instant coffee in the campus library and trying to get comfortable in the enormous space. At 7:30 the audience arrived - 75 people loosely spread throughout the auditorium. Dan our director was there, and our stage manager Bernd who will be with us for the whole tour as well as at Trafalgar Studios. The performance began and after about five minutes a couple of people walked out. We told our stories, using the large stage, and I certainly felt the divide between the large stage and the audience, especially as they were audibly and noticably silent throughout. Stories that in the past have elicited laughter, elicited none. For me the process became about trusting my own inner sense of purpose, trusting that what I was doing was worth doing, and that silence did not neccessarily mean contempt. We kept going, laughing, sharing our little hearts out, and learning (certainly for me this was the learning) how to generate enthusiasm from within. I think about that, what is the difference between enthusiasm, passion and excitement and how can one generate these from an inner place, rather than relying on outside stimulation to precipitate or ignite them? The performance ended and there was a very warm applause. Afterwards we came out to meet people who may have stayed behind to chat, but there was nobody there. This left the learning in place. The only feedback I got was as we left the organizer told me that a couple told her afterwards that she had "absolutely loved it" and it "wasn't his thing". On we go, this week to Letchworth, Luton and Colchester.



Blogger janet monahan said...

This was a beautiful piece of theatre. About many things. I enjoyed the singing. But mostly what will stay with me is the question : Is that why we are here ... to tell our stories? We must tell our stories both for the experience of the telling and for the legacy - the story you leave behind like leaving a child behind when you die. What will my story be & how will I tell it?
Love & thanks to you Paul & Murray, from Janet

12:42 PM  

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