|The Red Balloon|
So it was great to be asked by Dave to become directly involved with the company for a few weeks, as part of their new project Sharing Stages. The clue's in the name - this is a project about the company's partnerships - although actually very few of these are purely theatrical. There are partners like Amnesty and Barnado's in the mix. One other director who has been involved is Lou Stein - famous for founding the Gate - and he's just been announced as the holder of a new post in the theatre, which is its Artistic Directorship. Interesting times in Enfield....
Our piece, devised with 12 young people (a tiny cast by Chickenshed's standards, and a huge one by ours) is about what it feels like to be a teenager today. We approached it through their own stories, refracted through one another's telling processes; short scenes written in response to the theme; movement based on statistics we found online. The result, called The Red Balloon, is a rather beautiful and very intense 10-minute play in three short "movements" - and is very musical. It's not "about" disability or ethnicity in any overt way - but the presence of disabled and diverse young people within it is key to the way it works. They don't operate on stage in spite of who they are - what they do and what they mean there is very much about who they are.
It's on till this weekend.