Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Daniel is Evolving! (Press B To Cancel)

After another day in the studio, the show is coming on. And it's really exciting. I'd like to say that today was when we put together a lot of the separate elements which we'd been working on - but in truth, they fell together. The result, though, was organic and interesting.  

Finally, the animations, the performance and the technology all came together properly for the first time, and the relationships between the characters and the media bubbled to the surface for us to see. A bit of a link which will run as a through line. Just for times sake, we're all working on our separate fields quite often at the moment. Last weekend, Jon spent a day with local choreographer Lowri Jones to work on his sculpted performance style, whilst I stayed in a darkened room working on the animations. It's a bit strange to know that the show is progressing when you're not there, but when it comes together again the pay off seems to be worth it.

Daniel took quite a big step forward today, and as usual, it came from an immensely simple suggestion. It's odd that we've got this far without clarifying certain things in our minds - especially who the characters are. It sounds fairly basic theatre 101, but every now and then you do have to come back to the old cliche of 'What's My Motivation?'. I shudder a bit to actually write that, but it's true. The only downside being that the descriptions of the show on the website and press releases needs to be re-written again. It's describing a show that barely exists any more in that form. Which is great - it's evolving and getting better every day.

We're also working on integrating the work in to the Process at Play festival too. We just got back from a meeting with the publicity officer, and are working on some copy for the local press and newspapers etc. Trying to push the premiere as far as possible. It's been set for the 12th September. As always, I'm a bit excited. But that may be because someone sat near me in this bar smells of sun cream. It's a nice smell.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Rehearsal Pictures of the Third Kind...

Well, as I said, we're back in the rehearsal space working on My Canary's Name is Daniel, and I thought we'd upload a few pictures from the day to convince you we're getting on with it. It's looking up, and we're starting to get to grips with it. We know where it's going and what needs to be done. So here you all are...

Long shot of the rehearsal space.

Estoban - Currently Daniel's Stand-in.

Leo and Estoban

The Playbook

Jon, with the Animations Running In The Background.

Jon with Estoban

Estoban and The Animations


The Nerve Centre

Boy Interrupted

Friday, 3 June 2011

A State of Perpertuation... An excerpt...

Here's an excerpt from the Process at Play blog, for the festival we're showcasing My Canary's Name is Daniel at in September. It's just a little interview giving a brief description of who we are, what we do and what we're wearing.

How would you best describe your work? For example is it narrative?
In the past our work has been predominantly concept based, looking at themes such as fear, mortality and time without having a narrative foregrounded in the work. That said My Canary’s Name is Daniel is our first narrative based piece, although it still deals with concepts like time and mortality, it’s focus is on the story.
What are your roles within the company?
We all work together as devisors and writers, but also have more specific roles within the company.
Tom is our wizard. He creates animations and videos for performance as well as being responsible for the majority of our lighting and sound designs. Tom also acts as a director/outside eye, ensuring that the work is as beautiful and engaging as it can be.
Leo works predominantly as a performer within the company, but also gets involved with animation and sound, as well as playing devils advocate to make ensure the concepts and plot points within the work are solid.
Jon is chiefly a performer. He also works as a researcher, looking into performance styles and forms with the aim of ensuring the work is cohesive. As well as this Jon handles a lot of the admin work for the company.
What would you say are Sticky-Tape’s influences within theatre?
Well, having been mentored by Andrew Westerside (Proto-Type) and Andrew Quick (Imitating the Dog) it’s fair to say that the two companies are reasonably heavy influences for us both aesthetically and conceptually.
On a wider scale there are companies such as 1927Gob Squad and Precarious (who are sadly no longer together)and among several practitioners Jacques Le Coq is currently a major influence for our current show. We each have personal influences that vary somewhat but these, it is fair to say, are influences that we share as a company.
Who are your influences in the wider world I.e in film/art/music?
Film is a big one for us. The influences vary from practitioners such as Goddard toChristopher Nolan and genres including, but not limited to, Film Noir, Science-Fiction, Psychological Thriller and Surrealism.
In terms of music, we all love a lot of different types but the extent to which it influences is not too obvious. It is likely that it does influence us but it is not something we are hugely aware of, maybe we should think about that a bit more as we work.
Art is a similar sort of thing to music. We all like art but it is not a massive influence. If we see something we like or something that is relevant to our work we will engage with it, but we don’t really think of it as a massive influence… again, maybe we should.
Is there a venue/festival you would particularly like to perform at?
The Edinburgh Fringe is a big one, we would love to put on a show (preferably a successful one) at the Fringe.
In general though anywhere that we can get an audience and be paid enough to by food is somewhere we would like to perform.
How would you best describe your company’s aesthetic?
Sculpted and precise. We like to create moments as close to perfection and beauty as we can get them. A great deal of effort goes into precisely moulding moments that can really take your breathe away.
Our aesthetic is the key to our work, we always try to make it look elegant and beautiful.
Do you have a particular method of working? If so, what is it?
We don’t really have method of working that we use consistently. Mostly we bring ideas into the rehearsal and talk about them, sometimes too much, and then try them. If we like the result then we keep it, if we’re not sure we hold onto but not too tightly and if we don’t like it at all, we bin it. Whatever sticks we keep.
Is there any aspect of your work you would like to explore in greater detail? Or an aspect of theatre/art that you would like to explore within your own work?
We’re a fledgling company, so no door is closed. Anything that excites or intrigues us is worth pursuing. We have a lot of things still to try and learn, so it’d be foolish to say no to anything.
Individually there are aspects of performance that we all wish to explore, Leo for example is very much interested in the circus performance styles of Ockham’s Razor and Le Navete Bete. Tom wants to delve further into the technology side of theatre, exploring what can be done with projection and animation among many other things. Jon is very much interested in attempting to combine more naturalistic performance with the sculpted performance styles of Theatre de Complicite and Jacques Le Coq.
When did you first decide that you wanted to form a theatre company? (give us a little history of your company)
Well, Tom and Jon worked together, along with several other artists, in their second year of university. After that performance was finished the idea of starting a theatre company was raised. We talked to Andrew Quick about it and he supported the idea and suggested that we take piece of work to the Emergency ’09 Platform festival in the Greenroom, Manchester. The next year Leo joined in during the development of Moments/Details, completing Sticky-Tape in its current form.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
Well saying where we think we will actually be in 5 years is quite depressing, so we’ll tell you where we’d like to be.
We would like to be touring the country at least, maybe even Europe, hell if we do really well, the world. Making at least enough money to continue making shows and touring them. A state of perpetuation would be nice.