So, it’s been a busy three or four weeks already researching our piece. We’ve been beavering away contacting people, engaging the rest of the team and setting up meetings. Peter callow, a film maker has created the brilliant promo that is on our about page and it was great fun to do weaving up and down Ally Pally though we were worn out by the end of the day. He’s really captured an essence of what the piece is about and I think it’s great to have something visual to look at to give people a rough idea of what the project is. Then we’ve been cracking on with our interviews (I’m a frustrated journalist and loved holding out the Dictaphone.) First on our list was to see the registered Osteopath, psychotherapist and specialist in management of vocal crisis. Jacob Lieberman. I went to see him twice when I was suffering with my voice, both before and after surgery in the hope that a well as having the groove like furrow, the sulcus on my right vocal chord what harm could it do to look at muscle tension I was also holding in that area. Here is more of what he does: http://www.jacob-lieberman.co.uk/. We got some great information for our piece that we’re looking forward to sharing and it also served to remind me of how many avenues I went down in order to find answers to my problem. I remember it being a very emotional, releasing experience and I’m sure it helped as part of the whole healing process. The only thing we got wrong was that we recorded the interview in possibly the loudest café in North west London so have struggled to hear back some of his insights. Note to ourselves….find a quiet spot next time. I then found myself six years since I was first referred there back at the Royal Ear nose and throat hospital to visit voice specialist Dr Ruth Epstein. I certainly felt nervous walking back through the corridors, I knew the route like the back of my hand having been back and two there so many time over the years and felt my throat instantly tighten and breath rise. But I was returning this time not in search of where my voice had gone, but how I could re call the story of how it all happened and healed and piece it all together so we can make sense of it in the rehearsal room.
Ruth too has given us plenty of useful information for our piece and I came away with well over an hours worth of interview. Steve and Jo soon after interviewed Michael Usher Professor of Behavioural Medicine at St George’s, University of London. Himself also a very experienced runner, one of the top in his age group, they asked him questions about the relationship between mental health and physical activity and got some great information as well as a fascinating story of his first marathon experience.
Then we spent two days last week in script meetings bringing the original script and everything else we have collated over the last couple of weeks and tried to look at how best to structure the piece and make sense of it. Both the running story and the voice story in our piece have their own journey and so Jo has the job of fusing them together. We also tried some verbatim theatre. For anyone who’s never heard of it it’s where you listen to a real story or interview and literally with the headphones still in, with it playing, you repeat what you hear. I’d never tried it before and have to say, it’s harder than you think. If you’re not used to speaking in someone else’s rhythm you can easily run out of breath.
Jo is now working on the re writes so that when we get into a room at the beginning of September we will have already made some decisions about what we want to use in the script and what we no longer need to tell the story the best we can. Our problem or rather gift, whichever way you look at it is that we don’t have too little to work with, but so much .
We’re very excited to have Eva Auster on board with the team. Eva is a freelance video and projection designer with experience working with UK theatre companies and directors, creating visual content for live performances and online/ promotional videos. It will be fascinating to see how she can further express the story through a visual medium.
Also Dan Glover joins. he is a pianist, composer and musical director and having already spent two days work -shopping the project with him in December we’re really pleased he can join us again. Music and sound are at the heart of the story and it will be great to see how we can further develop that element too.
So onwards…….quite a bit more to do and then into the rehearsal room we go at the beginning of September.