style as content

03Dec09

The Bristol students and I are into our first week’s intensive rehearsal period. In eight days’ time we’ll have performances, but after a grim monday (me staring panic-stricken at a conglomerated script) I acknowledge the need for a change of strategy. A return to our earlier workshop exercises immediately yields fresh bytes of material laced through with poise and dynamism. The impossibly complex plot of The Little Sister gets sidelined and in its place … the posing commences: Sequenced interludes of ‘how to smoke a cigarette’; ‘how to swoon…or how to die’; how to react at the scene of the crime’. We start enjoying it again. I’m hugely relieved though the task is far from safe. I consider that this could be another delay tactic, another series of divertissements?

Because we’re adapting from a novel it feels counter-intuitive. True to the film-noir idiom however, we focus on creating a visual, theatrical language for the piece and worry less about the literary. It’s all style over content, or (perhaps more accurately) style as content. In a dusty corner of the rehearsal room we take a few photos for publicity and suddenly I start to think it might actually happen.

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2 Responses to “style as content”

  1. 1 Jim North

    Thanks for the birthday message Graeme. What a tremendous blog you’ve got. Ruddy good luck with the show. I’m sure it’ll be a corker.

  2. 2 James

    Nice shot!


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