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May. 20th 2016

Where is the devising I hear you cry!?

We are in a slightly strange position going into the first(and last!) full week of rehearsals for Emerge/ncy as we on day one we had the complete set built in the rehearsal room, we did a full costume fitting with all costumes ready made and we used most of the music that will feature in the final show. Where is the devising I hear you cry!?

 

It’s been quite a long journey to get to rehearsals. The aim for Emerge/ncy was to do something a bit different. This has resulted in having to decide certain things much earlier in the process than we may be used to.

 

Firstly we are mixing theatre with visual art. We wanted to create a sculptural addition to the landscape that could sit somewhere for a number of days. Reflecting themes of climate change, global inequality and the refugee crisis has resulted in us wanting to create something that was longer than 20 minutes, that was landscape changing and that could not be neatly packed away. This has given us a large piece of set design that bursts through the festival landscape and stands 7m tall. Something at that scale needs a lot of planning to make sure it stays up!

 

Secondly we are working with a large cast and a durational style of performance which means we have had to limit our rehearsal time. In many ways you would think that performing for 7 hours straight and with a cast of 9 you would need many weeks rehearsal space (we wish) however getting everyone in a large enough rehearsal space for set and creative team is expensive.  Added to this is the fact that if you want to make 9 original costumes to rehearse in (important for physical work) you need to make them before all the performers are in the final rehearsal.

 

So decisions start early. In some ways it is massively daunting to have everything pre-planned and slightly unwieldy. The first time we saw everything together (Set, costumes, music, performance) a lot of decisions had already been made and were set. However it some ways its also really reassuring and exciting to have so many tools at our disposal and ready to put into action – not just imagine!

 

Nathan Curry - Co-Artistic Director of Emerge/ncy

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