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March 08, 2005

Group Ideas , our diection etc

Session 1: 17th February

Today was the first session of our new module : Counter classical performance with the ever so wondeful Hugh Dennard (whos comment on the coolness of my new facial hair layout didnt go un noiteced and set me up for being very excited about this whole shindig)

We began today by having a discussion about Euripides' Medea. The discussion was to argue (i dont think debates are possible with some certain people in the Theatre camp) whether we felt more sympathy towards Jason or Medea. At the end of a rather circular arguement there was about a perfect split between the Jasonites and the Medeaists (i think theyre good pet names). My allegience was with the Jasonites , not to say that i thought Jason was a top bloke – just that killing your own children to get back at your husband is, well, slightly insane, uncalled for and generally just a bit sickening.

Following the discussion the Jasonites and Medeaists stayed seperate (good call) and these became our groups for our assessed performance. As our group is full of very agreeable people we all decided to go into different aspects of the project that we felt we were particuarly skilled or interested in.
Owens mention of doing some film related exploration or our ideas sounded very appealing.film. Myself , Ricardo , Owen and the Rothalite headed to the libary to do some reserahc. The most useful book we found was Kenneth Mackinnon's 'Greek Tragedy Into Film' (Worcester, 1986) IThe book gave info regarding a film of Medea which we then watched after retning it from the SRC

The film was in Greek, but thankfully subtitled, managed to give us some ideas about how we could shoot some scenes ideas. Most of the shots were long wit only a few profile shots used. To quote Owen this seemed a " deliberate attempt by Pasolini (director) to keep the authenticity of the Greek theatre by showing the whole of the body as the movement of the body (especially in the chorus) is a keystone to the whole medium of Greek Theatre. Pasolini also modified the idea of not showing the murdering, by employing a Hitchcock style approach. He would, for example show a knife moving downwards in a stabbing action however no penetration was ever shown. These are handy techniques, especially as we will have a low budget for our production and it'd be hard to show murder in an effective way."

When we'd completed our various bits of research, we got together as a group to share our thoughts, ideas and discuss what exactly we would do for the performance. There were some really interesting and insightful bits of info that we all shared.
For example : myth has it that Jason and Medea had 14 children (7 girls and 7 boys) and 13 of the children were killed by the Corinthians after they heard that Medea had slaughtered Jason's new prospective wife. . And as a result of this myth the Corinthians hired Euripides to rewrite the story , shifting the blame onto Medea so that the Corinithians seemed a bit nicer.

The overall ideas was that the performance would require several stations and that the audience could see,hear and watch different events in the form of an exhibition. It was at this point that Jack was talkin about his reserach : going out and asking people about there ideas on Medea and Greek theatre in geneal. Being a bit of a geek musician with an A Levl in Music Tech i thought my skills would be better suited to creating an effective musical backing for the piece. And so the group divided off into the following sub groups

  • Tableaux
  • Collage
  • Sound
  • Performance
  • Film

Our unifying concept as previously mentioned was that each sub group would have their own section of the performance space and the audiecne would be free to see whatever they anted to – giving each person a seperate more personal sense of our performance.
There were a few holes left with regards to actual staging and performance that we endevaoured to resolve once we had started in earnest on our seperate parts.

This is by far the most exciting project i have embarked on this year , i think this is in essence truely down to our group : we all know our own strengths and we all projected that to each othwer with no ego and so now we are all working on an aspects where we have excellent knowledge and expertise . The use of all of these different mediums and the hard working ntaure of our group has made me very excited about this project!

Now after some deliberation abotu how all this was going to come together we had a bit of a frenzy on the flip chart….and this is what weve figured out


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