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3 March 2014 • by Bella Loudon

In the Rehearsal Room: Goya week two

It’s the end of week 2, and the show’s in great shape. We have been battling through some big questions this week; How to create a very clear, yet entirely surreal dream-like world on stage. Where does this play's unique balance between vocal and physical story telling sit? And what does it mean to be make you’re audience somehow complicit in the action on stage?...

This last question is of most interest to me as, at the end of week two, I feel like a criminal. As a one-man show, we are constantly in direct contact with our protagonist, we are without choice the sounding board for his ideas. At times subtle and at other times explicit this play makes us look at ourselves and question our choices in a way that is fantastically uncomfortable. And living in this world for 8 hours a day has prematurely spun me in to a mild mid life crisis.

Even though I may look at this character and know that I am grateful not to be having the existential crisis he is arguably experiencing, I do find myself feeling frustrated every time I’m ‘sensible’, which it just so happens I seem to be most of the time. I find myself feeling jealous at his decision to break out of the mundane and to do something big, to do something now.

What would my equivalent be? To take all the money I have in the bank, which unfortunately like this guy isn’t very much, to buy an expensive bottle of whisky and a pile of magic mushrooms, to say ‘fuck you’ to the bus and jump in to a cab, hire someone to entertain me for the journey, and drive to the Tate late at night, break through a window and sit in the Rothko room with enough wine and pizza to last me all night… But of course, I never would, and maybe our protagonist will never actually put his plan in to action, but the desire is there. The desire to be spontaneous and dangerous and do something that makes me feel something! I want to stop worrying about bills and council tax and keeping up with my friends. I don’t want to be so bloody sensible. I express this sentiment to one of my flat mates… ‘Bella, you’ve decided to be a theatre director, that’s not sensible, that’s dangerous and a little bit stupid. And stop banging on about experiencing something outside the mundane of everyday life - you spend most of your time with actors trying to create other worlds and attempting to convince audiences to join you in them. You’re life is just a big game really isn’t it? Plus, you don’t seem to worry too much about finding time for your friends either. It sounds like you’re more like this character than you think…’ Ouch.

Yet this response somehow gives me some pleasure, but still, I want more of a thrill. My flat-mates response makes me wonder how our audiences will respond to the challenges and questions ‘Goya’ raises. Will they feel sorry for this man? Will they desire his passion and spontaneity like me? Will they feel repulsed by his actions? Insulted by his crude idea of existence? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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It’s the end of week 2, and the show’s in great shape. We have been battling through some big questions this week; How to create a very clear, yet entirely surreal dream-like world on stage. Where does this play's unique balance between vocal and physical story telling sit? And what does it mean to be make you’re audience somehow complicit in the action on stage?...

This last question is of most interest to me as, at the end of week two, I feel like a criminal. As a one-man show, we are constantly in direct contact with our protagonist, we are without choice the sounding board for his ideas. At times subtle and at other times explicit this play makes us look at ourselves and question our choices in a way that is fantastically uncomfortable. And living in this world for 8 hours a day has prematurely spun me in to a mild mid life crisis.

Even though I may look at this character and know that I am grateful not to be having the existential crisis he is arguably experiencing, I do find myself feeling frustrated every time I’m ‘sensible’, which it just so happens I seem to be most of the time. I find myself feeling jealous at his decision to break out of the mundane and to do something big, to do something now.

What would my equivalent be? To take all the money I have in the bank, which unfortunately like this guy isn’t very much, to buy an expensive bottle of whisky and a pile of magic mushrooms, to say ‘fuck you’ to the bus and jump in to a cab, hire someone to entertain me for the journey, and drive to the Tate late at night, break through a window and sit in the Rothko room with enough wine and pizza to last me all night… But of course, I never would, and maybe our protagonist will never actually put his plan in to action, but the desire is there. The desire to be spontaneous and dangerous and do something that makes me feel something! I want to stop worrying about bills and council tax and keeping up with my friends. I don’t want to be so bloody sensible. I express this sentiment to one of my flat mates… ‘Bella, you’ve decided to be a theatre director, that’s not sensible, that’s dangerous and a little bit stupid. And stop banging on about experiencing something outside the mundane of everyday life - you spend most of your time with actors trying to create other worlds and attempting to convince audiences to join you in them. You’re life is just a big game really isn’t it? Plus, you don’t seem to worry too much about finding time for your friends either. It sounds like you’re more like this character than you think…’ Ouch.

Yet this response somehow gives me some pleasure, but still, I want more of a thrill. My flat-mates response makes me wonder how our audiences will respond to the challenges and questions ‘Goya’ raises. Will they feel sorry for this man? Will they desire his passion and spontaneity like me? Will they feel repulsed by his actions? Insulted by his crude idea of existence? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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