Raft 01 : Rozi 00

December 9, 2015

Something has become very apparent- whenever we invite a person into rehearsal they find the raft irresistible, and something about them all being performers means they are convinced they’ll be able to master the raft before they get on it…little do they know the raft has a mind of it’s own. We’re considering making a competition of it at the sharing next January- bottle of bubbly to the first person that can balance it successfully.


We thought everyone would enjoy this video of Rosalind Brooks’ first time aboard adrift…and it was a good reminder of just how scary it is when you first try it out- an important element we need to retain in order to incorporate this into the character’s first explorations on the raft.


Rosalind has been making work for the Wales’ outdoor scene for a number of years with her collaborative company Kitsch and Sync that she runs with Kylie Anne Smith and Kim Nobel. It was fantastic to hear her thoughts on our research so far and she had some great questions and considerations. By the time she came in at 3pm we had written the first draft of the shape of the show and so it was the perfect time to talk it through in all it’s fragile newness.


Questions keep coming up for us about use of text and it was raised again today by Rosalind, she shared with us that sometimes she’s found it useful to use text in outdoor work to give a clearer intention at times. The jury is still out for us on this one, but will be something we will try out once we begin putting our piece together as we don’t want to dismiss it’s potential.


However, we are keen for the physicality to speak the loudest and to stay true to our intention to tell stories through movement. We also want to be able to play to a bilingual audience and be accessible to all regardless of potential language barriers and this comes into the decision making process on use of text for us.


We think that song is different because it transcends language barriers as everyone can connect with singing on a deeper level than language and it can portray emotion in a gentle, less direct, way. Considering song in an outside context does bring up issues to do with audibility of course and that’s another thing to consider.


Having shown Rosalind videos of character explorations, improvisations and talking her through the intended structure we are joined by Julian Payne- set designer- and the chat is brought to how we are using the raft in the work and the alterations we hope are possible.


The set as it is- atop a ball and socket joint- is very responsive to our shifts in weight as you can see in the video of Rosalind! We have slowed it’s movement with tires for this research project as we wanted to see if it was workable before he made adjustments- we decided we like the rolling action of the raft when it meets the curve of the tire. With Julian’s new thoughts on design we can achieve the rolling action all the way around without needing to use tires.


It’s been so fantastic collaborating with Julian, he brings his enthusiasm, skill, optimism and dedication to the project and we’re super excited to continue this relationship in the next phase of the work…if anyone is looking for a set builder please don’t hesitate to ask us for his details.





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