Saturday, February 11, 2006


The play is now emerging in a clear form. Or a first clear form: because whatever it is like in the autumn, it can't be exactly like this. Devised pieces tend to end up being very much about the people who are in them, and so at the moment this is a play for (and about) thirteen people - which gives a really powerful sense of a society and a world, but which won't make much sense with five actors. Or however many I end up feeling I can afford. The great gain is to be working with young people on this first version - partly because of the enthusiasm for the process, but also because of the knowledge they bring of their own generation - crucial to the play and very different from my memories of being twenty-ish.

I'm excited by the beauty of what is now appearing. The play has an almost meditational quality about it - a holiness. This is something I really didn't expect a student group to discover - but they've taught me a lot about the spiritual hunger inside people their age. For all the apparent careerism (which in fact comes from the structures within which they operate), they are deeply aware of the need for a theatre that speaks to the soul. Several of them have been buying books of Taoist thought and poetry. Lao Tzu would seem the absolute antithesis to Western urban youth - and this contrast is now the main drama of the play. So far at least.

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