Well it's been a hell of a ride for everyone these past few months - such different experiences all around the world, such difference ways that this wild situation has been handled. We hope that you are all well and finding positive ways to cope with it all, even though sometimes that feels very hard to do. In the UK the biggest blessing was that, for the majority of lockdown, the weather was amazing, so even if it meant sticking a chair on the front steps, there were at least moments of closing your eyes and relaxing in the sun.
I was extremely lucky that the opera production of 'La Finta Giardiniera' that I was supposed to make in Copenhagen didn't get cancelled - we've already sent out a post about it, but now there's a version with English subtitles - it was a great first attempt at something new, something that could work both in a live theatrical space and also online. We hope to develop this idea in the next months.
Before the madness started I was doing a movement direction job in Mumbai - in 2019 I worked on a production of 'The Mirror Crack'd' with Melly Still - at the end of the year we headed to India to make a new version at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) with local actors. It was an inspirational experience and unlike anything that I've ever done. I got an extraordinary insight into what it is to be an artist in India, as well as being there at a time when there was growing social unrest due to the controversial laws that the government were bringing in around citizenship and immigration. Now, of course, the country is under quite extreme lockdown conditions and a very hard life has been made even harder.
A little light Killing
Carolina has also been busy, most entertainingly getting herself killed in the first episode of the third series of 'Killing Eve' - frustratingly, although a lot of the episode was filmed in Spain, Carolina's scene, which takes place in a spice shop in Girona, was filmed in North London - nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience - you can catch it here on BBC iplayer
Into the Future
My next project, like so many in this country, has been postponed; it's a fascinating contemporary opera called 'Syllable', written by the excellent Ed Jessen - we will make it with students from Trinity Laban in London - we were supposed to do this in November/December - now we'll see..
Royal Danish Opera
After that it's back to Copenhagen to make a new project with only the chorus from the opera house. Using pre-existing music, we will make a piece that celebrates the Chorus themselves, whilst also intertwining elements of Hans Christian Andersen's own connection with the Chorus (he was briefly in it) and his life long love of opera. It's still at very early stages, but I'm excited to make something simple, bold and quite unusual!
We also want to use these next months to explore the world of audio theatre - not radio plays, but something different - we're not quite sure what yet. The plan is to use the really exciting material that Carolina has written for 'Sheriff' and turn it into an aural experience. We'll be working with the excellent Gareth Fry to create something that can easily cross boundaries, both theatrical and geographical. But first, the summer holidays and a chance for our lovely children to stretch their adventurous muscles after being cooped up and away from their friends for far too long!
So... we hope you are all well and healthy, we wish you an excellent and peaceful summer and we are full of hope and optimism that we will all come out of this packed with ideas on how to live and work in new and unexpected ways.
Spread the word.
I'm thrilled to tell you that the production of La Finta Giardiniera is now up on the website of the Royal Danish Opera. The subtitles are in Danish, but you'll get an idea of the world that we created - I'm hoping to put together a version with English…