Although this was the penultimate day of the Research and Development week (R&D), we
decided at the beginning of the day that we weren’t going to think too much about the
finished product - it was still a devising week after all.
Suze and I started the day by working on some spoken word together (I realised later that
evening that, by happy coincidence, the 21st March is actually World Poetry Day!) One of the
beautiful things about an R&D is that there isn’t an expectation or pressure to come up with
a full length piece by the end of the week, which meant that we had the freedom to explore
most of the ideas that came up during our time together. Before starting on some poetry
exercises, Suze and I had a chance to talk about cultural identity; coming from immigrant
families, Britishness, and the merging of different cultures. Chats like this really influenced
the work, but also helped us to understand each of our unique perspectives on Britishness,
Britain, and the current state of politics. We both wrote spoken word pieces on what it meant
to be British. I started a “break up letter to Britain” poem and Suze’s poem delved into what
it meant to be British and Italian.
Later that morning, the group reunited to share what we’d come up with. Leila’s more
physical theatre based piece contrasted really well with the poetry. While Leila expressed her
cultural identity through movement and drawing on her mirror image, an interview with
Leila’s father (a Leave voter) with an Arabian version of God Save the Queen played eerily
Throughout the week, we played around a lot with mirror images, mimicking, and repetition,
to explore the fact that many people feel like they are in an echo chamber when it comes to
Brexit. We are bombarded with facts and opinions, and it can be difficult to know what to
listen to. Inspired by the interviews we had gathered about Brexit, we staged our own
interview, but with numerous people answering at once; sometimes saying the same thing,
sometimes repeating each other, sometimes looking at each other in confusion. Exercises like
this allowed us to explore differing opinions on Brexit, but it also allowed us to laugh at
ourselves and how we have all (at times) fallen into the trap of blindly following our friends.
At the end of the day, we put together a list of all the scenes/sketches/pieces we had come up
with during the week. It was longer than we expected. We had a varied and exciting amount
of content to share the next day, and we then had the challenge of sorting it into some kind of
order. I left the studio that day feeling ready to share what we had created.
Also the fantastic Rachelle Strange came it to take pictures of our process! Here is some more info all about her work - go have a look! https://www.facebook.com/rachellemooseUK/
Monday - Leila