like everyone says, this is hard. i confess i wasn't that impressed with the choice of story in the first place. i thought the ones we looked over were more ambitious in their scope as news stories.

That's not to undermine the nature of the shooting itself. The events reported are terrible and shocking. but they become no more or less terrible and shocking whether we produce work in response to the event. i say this in the spirit of honesty rather than to denigrate our selection. i'm struggling to think how to proceed. i think there's a practical problem with a rapid theatrical response to events on our doorstep. namely that real people were actually hurt and are, if my personal experience grief, loss and pain are anything to go by, still assimilating the experience. it's very very hard in the immediate aftermath of an event to do much more than listen to someones story and go "ahh, that's awful'. from first hand experience, i would say that someone empathising with your suffering in this way is incredibly important. wounds are often too fresh to sustain any deeper insight than this. fine when dealing with other human beings whom you want to comfort, or vice-versa, but does this, sigh of empathy, make for a valuable theatrical expression? And if not, what else do you do without being crass?

This is a long winded way of trying to put my finger on what i'm finding hard about this. it's very hard to create something that allows an audience to do anything more than that same, "ahh, that's awful", or its slightly more sophisticated theatrical cousin, "ahh, that's awful. and aren't we all to blame?"

several other bloggers have rightly drawn attention to the anomaly of a collection of white artists 'responding' to a story ostensibly about black gun crime. i'm struggling to avoid creating a piece of theatre that does more than draw currency from a collective sense of guilt without properly examining it. in other words, a play that prompts the audience to think, "ahh, that's awful, and aren't we somehow all to blame?" and then draw a perverse satisfaction from the fact they (and we) noticed the problem in the first place. i have left theatres having watched plays like this feeling that i'm somehow higher up the moral evolutionary ladder than someone who doesn't feel guilty. which is an absurd and arrogant way to feel. you watch some atrocities on stage. than go home. and worry about them in the dark. i don't i have an answer to this. my instinct says the audience has to empathise with the characters they see. which doesn't feel like much of an insight. and is very hard to achieve anyway.

i'm now glad we chose this story. it is difficult to write about, which seems right.

i've just read over what i've written. and it sounds pompous. but if this blog is going to be honest it seems unfair to edit stupidity . like my record collection, you have to wade through a lot of Tiffany and Bon Jovi before you get to my Leonard Cohen and Tindersticks. Now I just sound old.


Blogger Joel Horwood said...

Hope you don't mind the little dig x

Blogger John Donnelly said...

nothing wrong with the bangles.
you shit.


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