The creative team encountering this material included several of our regular collaborators, which also helped to make the process so rich – there wasn’t any need for introductions to ways of working or for overcoming trust issues. Tony Guilfoyle (who was in both DIS-ORIENTATIONS and RE-ORIENTATIONS, as well as helping us devise CONSUMED) was back, as was Rosanna Lowe (Assistant Director on DOUBLE TONGUE), Nisha Dassyne (our Mauritian performer in MAPPA MUNDI and the translator of TOUFANN), David Furlong (another Mauritian performer and director at Exchange, who has been part of our recent training workshops). They were joined by Mauritian visual artist Shiraz Bayjoo; and by the wonderful Rwandan actor Ery Nzaramba, who I first saw in Peter Brook’s extraordinary piece BATTLEFIELD. The key was that all these performers work as writers, directors and visual artists as well as actors – something key to the whole process.
Amazingly, by the Friday of the fourth week there was enough material readily shaped to be shown to a small invited audience. The response was astonishing. This isn’t just a show about the history – it’s a show about how we relate to the history, how it reflects our contemporary realities, how it has made us who we are. These aren’t easy subjects, but the company has been very brave in the level of personal encounter. The resulting piece is going to be very delicate, very fragile, and, as a result, profoundly moving.