a fortnight in the country

Dear cyberspace dwellers,

the rest of the version 1.0 crew and myself are making many necessary compromises in order to travel today to the lovely twin cities of Albury and Wodonga, ever in orbit of each other, and thus preventing the barbarian hordes from crossing the state borders of New South Wales and Victoria. We're heading down for a two week residency hosted by Hothouse Theatre's A Month in the Country program. OK, I am aware that a fortnight and a month are different, temporally speaking, but one has to work with what is possible, and what is available. Contingencies and compromises are, after all, our business. So thanks to Hothouse for loaning us their house, and we promise we won't hurt the cows.

Its an exciting opportunity to work in splendid isolation as a collaborative team and nut out Stage Two of our latest work, certain Australian companies, a performance inquiry into the AWB kickbacks scandal. Stage One was in February with a insane two week development process followed by a performance season for Wharf 2 Loud, for which we are grateful to the Sydney Theatre Company for letting us play at their house. A mad undertaking - start work on Monday and open to the public the following Thursday night. As one might imagine, this process was stressful in the extreme, but the resultant performance was surprisingly successful, due largely to a fabulous team of collaborators, all of whom are back for Stage Two (Sean Bacon, Paul Dwyer, Stephen Klinder, Jane Phegan, Chris Ryan, Yana Taylor, Kym Vercoe and myself). Let us hope that we can maintain that level of energy as we temporarily relocate to the country. Stage Three, the performance season, will premiere for Performance Space at Carriage Works in August 2007, and if there are any interested promoters out there, we'd be very interested in presenting it in other cities as well throughout 2007 and 2008 (OK, gratuitous plug, but what else are blogs for?)

The work is frightening but exciting, and the shape is currently looking promising, with about half of the 8,500 pages of transcript examined, discussed, and edited, and about an hour of material we presented at Wharf 2 sitting in our hard drives, video documentation, and collective memories. It is a massive endeavour though, much larger than the scope of our earlier CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident) which was only a 2,188 page inquiry, albeit about a far more emotive issue. Sifting through the litany of denials and avoidance strategies, there's a powerful work in there. Just gotta keep digging until we unearth it. Civic archeology is what we do these days it seems, and its hard to keep your hands clean as we remove layer upon layer of dirt.

I'll try and post about our progress over the next two weeks, but this will depend on network access. Splendid isolation and all that. In the meantime, I'll try and get around to posting about recent performances witnessed, including Season at Sarsaparilla and The Nightwatchman, as well as some bonus materials from last year's notebook that I feel might be worth airing.

Happy Easter compromises to all!


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