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Isabel Dickens is an artist currently working with the Platform Young Company, our performance group for anyone aged 16 - 25 years. As part of her work with the group Issy will be posting regular updates of what goes on during meetings, rehearsals and workshops:
Today at Platform Young Company rehearsal we started the new year and building from our scratch performance in January started building the ideas for this year’s show. We experimented with improvisation developing from an exercise where everyone in the group wrote down lists of moments based on the headings: a) Everyday happenings, b) Moments in history you will never forget, c) Moments from your personal life you will never forget. From these lists people chose a moment and using the microphone directed the other members of the group into that ‘moment’.
Initially the instructions they gave were very basic and focussing on the movement of bodies in the room and where they were located. This developed into a more free-flowing narrative where the director was also within the tableau they created and they described a more elongated and detailed story in which the other members of the group situated themselves.
The group members started experimenting with quite horrifying and absurd ideas that were not necessarily based in reality, for example, John placed himself as a tree in a bear-pit in the zoo and Sean was the shed door on what was ostensibly an abattoir. Some of these ideas were quite dark and raised questions about the kind of material we will be using to make the show and how we can take care of ourselves and each other whilst being open to the ideas that come up in the rehearsal space. Fortunately there were opportunities where members of the group would break out of the narrative and take the microphone and continue a different narrative, sometimes undermining the original one created. For example, Becky took the microphone from Sean and started talking about how actually that wasn’t what happened, what really happened was…
The work still felt stylised but the free flowing improvisational aspect was a break away from what we had done before and it felt like it was exciting and people enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing how we can build on that next week!
For more information about the Platform Young Company including information on how to join the group send an email to email@example.com