Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Frustrating Morning

A rare thing during rehearsals - time to do the blog. I'm in the Rose Bruford library, upstairs from our rehearsal room. This morning had originally been down as a full call - but then it transpired that Ruihong had to report to the police (which seems to be a government scam to get yet more money out of people with work permits), and Ieng Un volunteered to take her. So I'd thought I would work with Haili and Tori on the central relationship of Part 2 - only for Tori to phone in and say she's got food poisoning. So - nothing to do this morning apart from catch up on production things. Props, costumes, videos, programmes and marketing. And the incredibly complex sound plot. Maybe it's just as well given that this is Al's first day with us as Production Manager - but it still feels frustrating, especially since yesterday was a Bank Holiday. I'd already made use of that time to catch up on admin.

It's emerging now, this play. Very different from the way it was in February. More allusive and elusive, more dreamlike and intangible. This feels appropriate to the material. As people often say about China: the more you know, the more you realise how little you know. So if we try to give clear answers, we'll only end up selling the story short. It's far better to hint at possibilities, and to empower the audience into thinking for themselves. So the scene which used to be a sort of history lesson on the Cultural Revolution is transmogrifying into a dream-like mixture of the death of Shanbo and a child's view of those years. Much more truthful to our sources (which are our performers), and so to the reality of how we experience the world.

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