Elegy

I think it is necessary to put down my thoughts about this text before I involve other people’s voices. I have set up the first read-through of play next week and distributed the scripts without letting the players know what parts they should consider.

The play asks for two ‘sixty’ish’ women who are married to each other and a ‘forty’ish’ woman who is a clinical practitioner. One of the women has a degenerative brain condition which can be treated with a prosthetic device but which has the side effect of absolute memory loss of a period of life – which in the play coincides with the time the two women have been together, thereby setting up all sorts of dilemmas.

My thoughts at this stage are general; I don’t expect the players to ‘learn’ the script, rather to ‘learn’ the characters and develop a sense of their motivations in a difficult set of situations. I am wondering however about the ‘stage’ and how I can visually develop the dialogue to enhance the experience for both my benefit and that of anyone present – I think it important that the players know they are being witnessed.

One of the key narratives is about distance – which arcs from mutual love and dependency to i.e. almost no distance to one of estrangement and loss. I think that, even as a read-through presentation I can develop that with a lighting and physical set-up. I am wondering about having the two protagonists facing away from the audience and seated with a lamp facing them and therefore casting them with rim lighting and excising their facial emotions from the viewer. I’m also wondering if I can ‘cut one them off’, by a blanking process to create that sense of distance. It was suggested by my tutor to consider the use of video as part of the process – I am actively considering this.

If I am lucky I will also try and have another short read-through at the upcoming Thames Valley Group meeting, I am aware that public speaking will be difficult for some. My purpose is to try and quickly distill a sense of the voice within the text and add that to the research.

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