Inside the Platform Young Company: Technical Diffulties

20 Jun 2020

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, we had our second last official rehearsal before our performance next Saturday. This was the first time that we have experienced a lot of technical difficulties with internet connection which feels like it is the one thing that is hard to control especially when people live in shared houses. It seems like we need to have some robust backup plans if something happens on the day.

We started with a check-in and people said they were enjoying the fact that they had been outside on a walk for the first time in a couple of months and a couple of members had moved away from Glasgow to stay with family on the islands, they were planning to visit people they hadn’t been able to see just because they had not been able to leave the island in 3 months.

This was exciting to hear and it was also nice to think that we’re finishing sessions at a stage of the lockdown when people can start to have more freedom to see people and getting out a bit more if they’re able to.

We started by revisiting the beginning of the piece and then combing back through it to fine-tune details and to refamiliarize everyone with what we did last week. During this Eoin and Gudrun will not have their cameras on but you can hear their voices on the screen so it feels ‘almost’ like they are directing in the room. Going through that again took quite a lot of time and there were moments where people’s internet connections broke down as well as some issues with people’s microphones. This is one of the things which is truly worrying because if the internet stops working on the day the whole piece will have to alter and it is a lot of pressure on the young company to improvise within that context. We will be using a Zoom Webinar format so there will still be the chance for the creative team to write to the young people in the chat to provide some re-assurance but at the end of the day improvisation, surprise and risk is part of the joy of performance.

Watching the performance, you can see the piece taking shape and it was exciting to watch. Any time a rigid structure is set up on a stage and then broken down it is very satisfying to see and even more possibilities seem possible when the context is a zoom chat because people can take the camera all over the house, wear costume, pick up any object, you don’t need to worry about how to get things on and off the stage. Checking out the mood was that people were feeling the pressure, especially with the sharing being next week but members of the company who had been through this process before recognised that this was a part of the process and weren’t so worried about feeling this way. It is always the worst bit when the show is not finished but the performance is in sight. One more week! We have sneaked in a Tuesday rehearsal as well to prepare and finish off learning the piece.

If you would like to know more about Platform Young Company please contact info@platform-online.co.uk

Platform Young Company


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