The Adjustment Period (Also known as an ode to Harry Kearton (H.K)). A post about beginning again and acknowledging change

We knew we wanted to work together again. Circumstance and individual curiosities took us in different directions and although we were living in different countries now felt like the right time to come together and collaborate. Creating material within our friendship came very naturally to us, but when we decided to put ourselves back in a rehearsal studio it was clear that we both had changed and our practices had developed and altered. The last time we worked together was in 2012, so unsurprisingly (yet incredibly surprisingly to us) when we got back in the studio we found it more challenging than we expected.

The start of a devising process is wonderful but difficult, the piece could be anything, and it could go anywhere.  In the beginning of our R&D in Paris, Harry and I put a lot of pressure on ourselves to create material, to slot straight back into it as if nothing had changed, rather than understanding our new practice and what it meant to work together. Although we were excited about collaborating and acknowledged our differences, there was an expectancy that we would immediately speak the same language despite having both done further training at two very different institutes (Harry went to Lecoq and I went to Central School of Speech and Drama).  

What I'm used to

  • Working independently
  • Autobiographical approaches
  • Creating my own exercises in order to produce work
  • Task based exercises 

What Im not used to

  • Character Improvisation
  • Writing linear stories

What Harry is used to

  • Group Improvisation
  • Character work
  • Clear narratives
  • Movement and body to relay narrative

What Harry is not used to

  • Text-based devising
  • Autobiographical approaches
  • Working independently

For me our first week of R&D, felt like a waste of time (for Harry it was it was more a feeling of frustration/disappointment) and that the collaboration was “failing” as it wasn’t the same as before. We left the week with little direction, however we were determined to push through as we had another R&D at Camden People’s Theatre.

So we decided to approach the next week of R&D differently. We had the realisation (thanks to friend Jennifer Jackson) that we should see the process as a chance to share skills. To give an insight into the most beneficial things we learnt from our time apart. This really opened up our practice, gaining a deeper understanding of each other’s brains and meant that we were starting to sing from the same hymn sheet.  

Looking back now and discussing it with H.K the muddy time that we had was necessary in order for us to get to where we are now. Even though as friends we know each other very well and share a love for bizarre stories of human beings and making up elaborate dance routines it is important not to assume anything when going into a process.

Although we are still developing our practice, we can now start to really wrestle with the show we want to make. Exploring walls, boundaries and personal space, after our showing at CPT we have found momentum again. 

     Wires Crossed 

    Wires Crossed