Ellen’s method of building this piece, introduced from the very beginning of the process, in trying things out and developing what was offered as well as, more recently, working our scenes in reverse order has made this devising of The Unknown Island feel like an addictive puzzle which we are solving together. It’s so exciting and all the more satisfying when the pieces to the puzzle emerge and slot in seamlessly. This approach also makes it feel as though the process is imitative of the script – both searching for the unknown.
Forensic work on scenes have revealed a more conclusive journey for the four voices that are telling this story, finalising their mental and physical progression and regression. To support this traversing through the script, discussions about the human grief cycle have entered the room which seem relevant on two levels – for the characters in the Saramago text but also for our story tellers telling it.
That’s right folks! 4 weeks in and stimulating discussions stemmed from The Unknown Island are still in motion. Just when you think you’ve cracked it, a line delivered by one of our amazing cast could have you thinking “how on earth did I miss that interpretation the first time round?!” And that’s the beauty of it, can it ever be known?!!
This week, we have been talking a lot about faith conflicting with doubt. Great thinkers such as a personal favourite of mine in Soren Kierkegaard as well as Ludwig Feuerbach have had an honorary mention and for very different reasons, current "world leaders" have also been a topic of interest. With “Heads of State” playing around with nuclear weapons as though they were toys, faith and doubt, in relation to humanity especially, seem internationally relevant at the moment.
On a lighter note, our cast were set the task to learn a magic trick over the weekend and those who shared their skills with us certainly did bedazzle. This was done to encourage ideas around the relationship between performers and the audience and how they could share in a thought exercise. Our four square game has officially intensified and become competitive. Tricky and also magic-like shots have come into the room as everyone tries to be in the kings square before the timer runs out! The game is a great warm up and avenue into our pensive work.
Costume fittings took place this week and were an overall success! Tec is around the corner so we will be turning the lights out on our rehearsal room for good and soon be back at the gate theatre. The final puzzle pieces are coming together and we are edging closer and closer to creating the unknown in its entirety.