If you are ever in or near the Rhum and Clay rehearsal room you are sure to hear someone say ‘There’s something in that’, usually in response to the improvisation of a new idea. To translate this phrase, it generally means: 90% of that was completely forgettable and useless BUT 10% could be the beginnings of something genius! And so it goes (apologies to Kurt Vonnegut). Devising is and always will be difficult, but there is a method to this very inexact science.
We have just finished a rehearsal period at Devon’s Beaford Arts, where we were working on our new show The Man in the Moone. An old manor house out in the middle of nowhere is perhaps the perfect place to bang out some ideas for a show. As always, there are many more questions asked than you could ever hope to answer. That said, there were a few questions that began to be repeated consistently, questions such as ‘Where are we?’, ‘Who are we?’ ‘What do we want?’ and one of the most important: ‘Why do we care?’ If you can answer that then you are halfway there. Now all you need to do is make the show. Easy!
This of course is a common tale; the process you have to go through is necessary. Murakami describes writing as like running a marathon. This feels like an apt description and so whatever the next rehearsal brings, we will get back up in the space, prance around, argue, laugh, listen, stare aimlessly out the window and at some point continue creating The Man in the Moone.