Our final New Musical Development Collective sharing is coming up on March 9th! Yes! Exciting!
It’s going to take place at Theatre Royal Stratford East and we’ll all show 20 minutes each. We have 2 days rehearsal with 5/6 performers then there’ll be 2 showings on the 9th – one for industry and another for anyone else (that could include you, if you fancy it!).
I wrote this wee synopsis to go in the programme:
“Hero is the story of a group of actors developing a musical about legendary 60s soul singer – Martin Sinclair. You will see snippets of their musical juxtaposed against their development process. But as the outside world spills in, new allegations against Martin begin to threaten the actors’ process. Hero explores the emotional and physical traumas performers go through for their art and asks if you can still love a song/play/film once you find out what it took to make it?”
I’m pretty happy with that. It may have taken a whole year to write something that now seems so simple but hey it’s all about the taking away really, isn’t it? I’m happy that it’s something relevant and urgent and also theatrical and playful.
I feel like I now really have a handle on the journey of the protagonist –ANITA/DIRECTOR and I also really understand what’s going on in the Martin Sinclair narrative but I have less of a hold on the journey of the ensemble of actors. What actually happens in the rehearsal room? I think I know what they all want – bigger roles, more lines – and I can definitely see conflict coming out of that (there’s only 1 lead role) but who exactly is the conflict between, how does it manifest itself and how does it end? Questions, questions, all the questions!
Last week I watched National Treasure written by the wonderous Jack Thorne which is clearly quite relevant to Hero.
It was interesting that it directly references Jimmy Saville, quite a few times actually – “they think I’m Jimmy Saville!” but I wonder if this is the right choice for our musical? Should we reference and name Weinstein/Cosby? Also, Rose McGowan has written a book called Brave about Weinstein (which I haven’t managed to read yet) but apparently she never says his name, NEVER, throughout the whole book she just refers to him as The Monster.
I read an article where she was asked about this and she said she didn’t want to give him any more airtime, any more celebrity. I mean there is a clear contradiction there – she’s written a book about him; she is giving him airtime – but I suppose maybe she’s giving the subject airtime rather than him? Anyway, I thought there was something interesting in that too. Not sure what’s best for Hero though, but not to worry – we’ll get there.
-Since our mid-point sharing we have hugely altered the opening scene. We’ve gone for something a lot more “traditional” now so we can really break away from this later. I love that we’ve got 20 minutes for this sharing (as opposed to the 10 minutes we had for our mid-point sharing). It means that we can really show the journey of the musical – present the beginning, middle and end.
-Saw a beautiful piece of gig theatre at Ovalhouse on Saturday called Medea Electronical by Pecho Mama theatre company. I completely loved it! For me it was gig theatre at it’s finest – theatre and a live gig completely intertwined. When the performers first walked on stage everyone clapped! Like it was a real gig! People don’t clap when actors come on stage to do a play! But at a gig… Yeah, AWESOME.
It’s essentially a one-woman show with 2 musicians on stage retelling Medea in a completely experimental and contemporary way. All the characters (bar Medea) are pre-recorded and the songs were so so haunting.
And the songs truly did add another dimension to the piece – the book and songs were definitely not just repeating one another – the songs took us deep inside Medea’s head and gave us ALL the feels. Must make sure in Hero that the songs don’t just double up the scenes and have a clear function/drive the narrative forward. And Martin will have had concerts – can we bring this feeling of a gig into play too?
-Have been reading Ann Bogart and Tina Landau’s The Viewpoints Book because I think this is the kind of stuff that DIRECTOR would be into. I’m creating her universe as she creates another…
That’s it from me guys. Over and out. xx