My experience by Philippa Acton

Having spent several months experimenting with the theatrical possibilities of work, we are now  doing the job for real it seems. The script has arrived and, as first timer to London Bubble participation, I am experiencing a full gear-shift in response to a looming performance date. Rehearsals are focused, fast-paced and with a fair amount of nervous energy in the room.

Reflecting over the last couple of months, there have been many unpredictable and magical moments during the development process that have stood out for me. Quite often during a Thursday session we would spend along time working away at a complex task in small groups, feeling slightly lost.The process would sometimes include worrying that nothing had really been achieved and that our miming skills were doing nothing but revealing a severe lack of knowledge of the shape of a telex machine. And then a moment would happen where words were added. Something was suddenly revealed. This was either through an actor or several actors speaking from a transcript or an interview recording played directly over our performance.The effect was as if something completely unique and valuable had been unearthed. This would often happen towards the end of a session and I realize now that is explains why we would arrive feeling tired and leave feeling full of energy.
So what was it that we discovered?  I suppose that is for the audience to decide when they see the show. My overriding impression was a sense of spinning threads or unwinding long thick ropes that stretch into the past. In fact, ropes have since become quite a prominent theme in recent rehearsals. I think it the shared knowledge of having created exciting and really quite moving moments of theatre in the rehearsal room is the real pressure on us now; how do we make sure that a magic feeling of discovery happens for the audience in the final show? I am feeling confident we can do the job, so it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

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