By Assistant Director, Myles O’Gorman.
‘One motivational trick is finding a training partner’
Since the beginning of the process, and especially now that we approach the end, making Trainers has been a brilliantly collaborative process. I’ve been reflecting recently on not just the collaboration we come to expect from directors to designers, but – in this work specifically – the constant collaboration between our two performers, Nicki and Nando. Together they negotiate space, movement and objects, as well as negotiating each other’s bodies. It’s truly inspirational to watch them work and make stuff together. There have been so many famous duos in history – performance soulmates if you will – and, watching Nando and Nicki, you can’t help but place them into this same category of performers who just click. You couldn’t imagine the piece in any other hands because their work together so precisely expresses the ideas and key themes of Sylvan’s multi-faceted text.
As Hester often says, in Trainers the truest thing is that the audience are watching two performers doing work. It is this simple fact, this simple truth that magically illuminates a piece full of many uncountable and irresolvable truths. Set among a space populated with many objects, the truth that Nicki and Nando exist and work as two bodies, or four bodies, or one body irrepressibly expresses a humanness that is beautiful, queer, here, now and trans.
Another collaboration that’s shaped the piece is the design, led by Naomi and Josh. We all cheer whenever they enter the room! Trainers is as much a visual experience as it is a textual and narrative one. Images count; they invite us to read something in a certain way. Trainers asks us to question and challenge our readings. What does it mean when objects are placed in a particular arrangement? What happens when a piece of costume suddenly becomes something else? Or when a chair suddenly takes on a life of its own? In the room, we’ve all been making constant discoveries. Our process has had as many shifts and turns in it as the piece itself, to the extent that maybe we’ve ‘queered’ the way theatre is made. The trans form of Sylvan’s piece has certainly influenced the rehearsal room.
As we head into tech week, the piece will live and breathe on the strength of all these collaborations. And I have no doubt that the incredible people involved will continue to make something new and special for the people who come to watch.
Don’t miss Trainers in our theatre from 27 Feb – 21 Mar. Book now