New York Office Party state-of-mind

19Oct15

Office Party

When you’re changed and ready, enter in doorway of F pissed. Start solo dancing US.

JP (Alex) comes up and starts flirting, then others come US, congratulate the birthday boy. JO handslap, CS twirl.

Count in 4 beats for start of the dance.

Dance DS in unison, then freeform as lads get matey and show you the surprise lurking in door B. Grab bottle of wine, from watercooler and enter B.

When cake is brought in sing Happy Birthday!

When B2’s starts run US and round to door 4, take orange (preset) and place it in crook of neck. Stand in doorway with GB playing pass the orange.

When GB moves out of doorway continue dancing US, watch CS and JP getting frisky, then start up conversation with GB about party etiquette. “Isn’t Stephens married?” etc.

GB gets personal. Then CS interrupt conversation and bundles you into door B.

Get changed into underwear (vest socks and pants).

Keep trousers to hand. Dump remainder.

When BR enters as stripper, grab bra and knickers (preset on props table or hanging from lx stand)

Take truncheon and beat yourself 10 times (shadow of raised arm appears on inside of door). Simulate strip by throwing bra then knickers into the corridor over their heads.

Crudely apply lipstick and eyeshadow. (pour wine bottle over head for bedraggled look if necessary)

Put handcuffs on and conceal key either in sock or on props table (you’ll need it later!)

When CS takes photo, throw him the trousers.

Put your handcuffed hands between your legs.

When mix of Two Tribes becomes muffled enter door B, slowly step fwd pissed, revealing the make-up and cuffs to the audience.

Attempt a pathetic escape from the cuffs, then stumble slowly US, pausing as Gar walks (unseen) from SR to SL.

When you get US to wall CS grabs and turns you, marching you DS where you collapse fwd onto JO body.

It’s time to brush the cobwebs off an old classic. The Cleansing Of Constance Brown will be performing in little more than a week’s time at the Crossroads Festival of Live Arts, Warsaw, after 4 and a half years dormant. Like many of the ensemble-devised works in the Stan’s Cafe repertoire there is no definitive script. Without an audibly spoken text the show exists principally in the body-memory of those who have had the pleasure of performing it. Individual notations exist for each performer-role, as compiled in the event that an original deviser became unavailable for a gig. As it happens – with the show proving to be one of the most successful in the company’s history – no single performer has performed at every destination. Infact the only member of the team to have been present at every gig has been Nina West, intrepid composer and sound op.

The above extract is from my personal notes, prepared for Chris Corcoran in advance of shows in Koln, spring 2010. Combine this with six other simultaneously-performed, task-based scripts and you end up with a spreadsheet which resembles a definitive log of the show.

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