Thursday, September 21, 2006

Post-show discussions

We talked to the audience on Tuesday night. It was a very young, rather studenty group. Lots of questions about "themes". It's interesting to talk about this work with people who come from a literary perspective - it makes me realise for far we are from that approach to theatre, how very much we find our truths (if truths they are) through practical exploration of space, voice and the body, through the clash of different people, cultures and ways of making theatre in the anarchic open space of the rehearsal room. We're not making theatre which has decided what it wants to say before we say it: the meaning is only something that emerges at the end. I think this is actually something which empowers the audience - they become active in making the meaning too.

One of the people at the discussion was a journalist from Pink News, who has published his article today. It's written from a very clear, very specific perspective - and that's just fine. The one point he stretches is Shanbo's death: he doesn't die of grief because Yingtai turns out to be a woman - it's because she has to marry somebody else. I think the gender anarchy of Butterfly Lovers is actually MORE interesting if you look at the lovers' constant swapping of gender, both within the story and as performers. Like a Chinese As You Like It.

I get a lovely email from Angharad Wynn-Jones, the new director of LIFT. Here's what she says: "Dis-orientations is a revealing insight into the complexities of intercultural and same gender relationships in contemporary China. It is a richly complex production, with great performances from two singers from the Shanghai Yue Opera. I feel privileged to have seen it."

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