A long chat with Geof Colman at Central about how the project will work through January and February. Apparently, because the company residency means Haili, Seema and myself, this will be one of the most expensive shows they've ever done, even though the set and costumes will cost them virtually nothing. This makes me feel a bit daunted; and Geof is obviously anxious that the work should give plenty of "added value" to the college, not least in terms of research. We concoct a plan to write a refereed article together. We also work out the fees for each of us: and I phone Haili to let her know. She's rightly a bit perturbed about how this will work with accommodation, so I set Wojtek on to the tricky task of finding inexpensive places to stay in London. Always a problem, this!
It's fascinating how the business of working in a drama school can shift your ways of looking at performance. Geof fills me in on the students' work so far, and we discuss the methods I'll be using to devise the play with them. At one point he asks me whether they will be "playing characters or responses". I answer that I don't know - but it might be closer to the mark to say that I don't really understand the question. All these sort of questions demand a theoretical framework (eg character = Stanislavski / Freud), and the fluid nature of our work is such that theories and practices come careering in and out of it like nobody's business. So I can't really postulate a theory of acting - which I guess is a good way to be with actors about to enter the profession. I can see why Geof says this isn't a project he would ever offer the students for their summer showcase: it won't show them fitting the professional mould.
Yesterday afternoon with Phill Ward at Collage Arts. Phill's a very interesting man: a former ACE opera officer, who writes criticism of the form (he'd just got back from David Pountney's Peter Grimes in Zurich, to which he is promising his Turkey of the Year Award), and also runs the performing arts arm of Collage. In practice, this means getting people with an interest in the sector to be mentored by experienced people like me - for which there is some EU money available. We set up for Wojtek to meet him next week.... Phill's also keen to revitalise the Consortium, which died the death after the office rent kicked in this summer. We go right back to the original idea of a group of companies sharing producing staff, showcasing opportunities etc. The key is that the other companies should be of a high enough standard for us to want to share a platform with them - and Phill has ideas about that too. A reborn Cherub, for example. Watch this space in January.