Archive for the ‘Hunger’ Tag

Post-Hunger…

The Age published a very glowing review of Hunger (read it here).

The Theatre Notes blog also published a review – here.

Two quite different points of view. The Theatre Notes review has been commented on further by a reader – making for an interesting dialogue. Blogs are particularly interesting avenues for reviews and commentary because they offer readers the possibility of responding to the views expressed with their own.

Feeling quite knackered today. Musicircus on Friday night went well – but I think the role of creating and leading a new project so soon after Hunger did my head in. I spent the weekend feeling weepy and tired and overwhelmed. I’m still fragile today.

On Wednesday I drive 3.5 hours to Albury (surely it doesn’t take that long??) where I spend the rest of the week working with AYO’s Sartory String Quartet and local children on a creative project. Hopefully my brain will be back in gear tomorrow.

Opening night of ‘Hunger’

We opened last night to a full house. After such a long creative journey together it is very, very satisfying to finally be able to share the work. The audience last night was a mix of colleagues, friends, family – also reviewers! Today we have a matinee and an evening performance, same again on Wednesday.

Kate, (Rawcus director)  has arranged for the whole company to eat together before the show, so yesterday afternoon around 5pm we all sat down together at long trestle tables and tucked into a delicious lunch of hot food and salads. It’s a tradition that Kate brings with her from her work in theatre in France, she said, and feels like it will be a very affirming way for the Company to bond and experience together the performance season.

Yesterday The Age printed an interview with Kate, Paul (one  of the Rawcus performers) and me. You can read it here.

I’ll post reviews when we get them. If you are reading this and have seen the show – please leave comments!

Final countdown

And today we had our dress rehearsal. We started the day by going through a couple of scenes where there were some new lighting cues to be noted, then we started our run.

Like yesterday, but even more so, the who has a strong shape and momentum now. It feels like lots of the hesitancy and slowness of yesterday’s scene transitions has gone, replaced by swiftness and no slackening of tempo. The cast is growing in confidence. “I feel like we are in a good place now,” the director told me happily, as we walked to the production meeting at the end of rehearsal.

Today we also made up, which also helps people to get in character and respond authentically to others’ characters in the space. Cupid had wings added to his costume today, and he is delighted!

We are still having difficulty with one of our pieces. Ensemble-wise, it can easily feel shaky – a bit of a house of cards. It is driven very much by the cello, but our cellist is  playing from a balcony behind us at that point in the show. We have great foldback, but somehow it is still tricky to keep together. Also, most of our cues for section changes in the piece come from the stage action, so when we practise out of context we have to contrive the timings of these changes ourselves. We finished our rehearsal today working on it again, finding musical solutions to the main issues, and happily resolving our concerns somewhat. Our next chance to run it will be in Monday’s dress rehearsal, which is open to a small audience.

Hunger has been such a rich experience for me. There are so many aspects of the show and the production that have been new for me, and indeed, I am usually only one step (or half-step) ahead of the musicians at any one time – and it has been that way through the whole year! I often encourage the MSO musicians to feel brave about stepping out of comfort zones, reminding them of the great and exciting things that can happen when take risks, and have to trust our instincts and responses. In most of my MSO projects I am working in a context that is familiar for me, and while I deliberately set about challenging myself in all of the projects, I am still somewhat in a comfort zone. In Hunger I am constantly having to put myself out there, be courageous, trust my instincts, watch and learn and absorb all the information that I can. It is a very, very good thing for me.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is a day of rest. Much anticipated, and much needed by the whole ensemble, I think. Come Monday, we will be refreshed and geared up, ,reading to share our beautiful heart-felt, heart-filled work with a wide audience.

trust me…

In a collaborative project, there are trust relationships on all levels, in all directions. I spend my Saturdays working with the fabulous, creative, generous artistic souls of rawcus and a small team of musicians from the Orchestra. We are working on a show called Hunger for this year’s Melbourne Festival, and this rehearsal period (Aug-Sept) has us in the home stretch of creating and locking in material.

Thinking about the creative journey of taking a show from the seed of an idea to a fully-realised production, and some of the issues we have faced in the Ensemble in recent weeks, got me on the idea of trust, and the web of trust relationships that are an essential part of the creative process:

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In praise of struggle…

I’m thinking today about struggle and good art. The collaboration with the theatre company that the Orchestra’s outreach program is working with is one of the most challenging things I have done, artistically. It has hit a couple of snags recently. That’s mild language – in fact, in the last 8 days we have had two major dramas and each time, I feel myself sigh a bit more heavily inside.

The director and I spoke today and vented some frustrations – not towards each other, but towards these snags (as I shall call them). Her more than me – I had the advantage of a couple of days’ stewing time, and a visit to the Japanese Bath House yesterday evening to help me calm down and take my mind off it all. We both agree it could well be an amazing show that we are in the middle of creating, and we both feel that in a way, these challenges that keep arising are part of that amazing-ness. They are the grit that is forcing us to keep digging away at the material that we devise, to be demanding of it, and challenge it.

We need the musicians to feel this too though, and to keep trusting us.

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