All entries for March 2005

March 08, 2005

Friday 4th March : Medea Session

We ran through pretty much the whole piece in this rehearsal, and it’s looking really good, finally we’ve got a good performance with so many different elements (dance, music, SFX, the painting).

Rachel’s painting (thanks to James and Beck as well) is looking awesome, much too good to paint over in white! Here it is :

The beginning’s pretty much come together now; we used a CD that Laura’s made of children playing, which is really spooky when played at the beginning before I enter with the chorus. I’m probably going to have to sing the song twice, as Frankie and Kali need enough time to come down from the catwalk and enter at the end of the procession with the rest of the chorus; it’d look a bit naff if they had to come in separately because they were letting the bits of red material down from the catwalk.

We spent a lot of time working on the courtroom scene, as we hadn’t really spent any time on this yet. We altered the placing of the chorus at the back in their ‘material boxes’. Will and I now start standing on platforms at either side of the stage, then we’re carried on on the platforms, into the court (as it were). Four members of the chorus then kneel round each of us on the floor, and they say the ‘Objection’ and ‘Sustained’ that brings the emotional scene into the court scene.

Helen and Rachel (the Gods / scales) stand during the scene on a high platform at the back of the stage, then they come down and move through the chorus while we’re frozen in position, for their scene. We tried putting James and Beck up on the catwalk, as if Medea is in prison (or in a dock in court) and Jason is accusing her; this is effective and we are going to use it. Hopefully we can use light through the catwalk grille like the light through the bars of a prison cell.

We decided on a place for Rachel’s painting as well; on the far left of the set, between two white curtains.

We discussed what white noise/flicking between TV channels we want for the alternative ending scene. Hopefully Annisa is going to be able to do something this weekend on VHS that we can use. Then we need to put it on the same tape as Grace’s news report, and we can edit it all together for ease during the performance.

All getting better every rehearsal, now we have what looks like a good performance! We need to do some hard work next week on making everything smooth, so we know what we’re doing very well and it doesn’t look like we’ve only every run it once before!


March 03, 2005

Medea Rehearsal : 3rd March

I felt today's session in the studio went really well and clarified the structure of the piece, something that's really important before we develop the individual bits any further.

We started off rehearsing individually in our groups; Charlotte, Julia, Kali, Jack and Annisa are working on the Dada poem with a kind of dance where Medea is in the middle and is controlled by pieces of red material which are tied to parts of her body; this represents the different elements of her mindset and her confused state of mind in the situation of the play.

Rachel, Will, Beck, Helen, James and I are working on our courtroom scene. We now have a script that we are learning; the scene is fairly naturalistic, which provides a distinct contrast with the other scenes in the 'middle' of the piece, especially as it comes after the dada dance and poem, which is obviously very non-naturalistic.

Diagram :

There are two pairs of Jason and Medea, one pair which will be behind a thin sheet of material, lit from behind by a light, so they will act out a scene from p346 of ‘Medea’ silhouetted. In front, on a platform, will be the Jason and the Medea who are in the courtroom (me and Will). They are more controlled and restrained than the couple behind the sheet, yet they make sudden outbursts that are controlled by the court. At the very back are Rachel and Helen, who represent the human scales. At the end of the textual speaking by Will, me, Beck and James, we freeze and Rachel and Helen walk on and have an argument/discussion summing up the points for and against Medea’s defence of her actions. We were thinking of using 2 red sashes to represent the two Medeas, and 2 black sashes to represent the two Jasons.

Grace, Laura and Mary-Kate were working on an alternative ending for ‘Medea’. Grace is filming a news report for the beginning of the performance, so today she recorded an alternative report as though the people of Corinth searched for Medea’s children and killed them themselves as revenge for Creon’s death.

Sam and Gethin developed a kind of ritual dance inspired by the ancient Greek dance workshopping that we did with Annisa, which they taught the boys. This will probably be used at the same time as the girls singing a 2-part version of my latin song from the beginning.
We now seem to have a vague structure for the performance :

1) The audience enter to Gethin playing the guitar

2) A blackout then occurs and Frankie and Kali start making noises on the cat-walk

3) The lights then come on. Two figures are seen in masks on the cat-walk. These figures (representing the children) then drop red material down to the floor and create a kind of arch for the chorus to walk through

4) The chorus then walk in pairs through the material arch into the studio through the audience, with me singing and everyone else following

5) When we have all gone through the arch, the red material is dropped to the floor (possibly held by invisible string so we can pull it up again later)

6) The news report then comes on the television

7) Everyone starts saying the lines from the public interviews, in pairs; one person says it, one whispers, until we all start shouting then we stop when Jack stamps his foot and shouts

8) Frankie then choreographed us in a ritualistic dance which ends with some people staying and the others going back into the ‘box’ frames created out of material round the back of the studio

9) Next is the MIDDLE section : Dada poem and dance, Courtroom scene then ALTERNATIVE ending

10) The ending will be like the beginning but in reverse

James, Beck and Rachel have also started work on the painting; they have painted the back white like a blank canvas, and then they are starting to paint by projecting the picture onto it and painting round it.
Good session guys, I really feel like it’s coming on now and I can see it all working really well. We need to sort out who’s going to buy fabric etc so we’re not doing last-minute trips to Leamington next Thursday afternoon. See you all tomorrow! K8 xXx


Laura's Photos

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/lmatthews/gallery/medea_theatre_studies_stuff/

Lovely Laura has put 22 photos from her digital camera that she took at our rehearsal today (3rd March)! Thanks Laura!

March 02, 2005

Initial Ideas for Courtroom Scene

Rachel, Beck, Helen, Will, James and I are working on a 'courtroom'-style piece that will hopefully fulfil the need that we all felt for more audience participation and involvement in our performance.

We thought that it should be at least a partly non-naturalistic style, as the majority of the piece so far seems to have a non-naturalistic slant. The speech around p346 is a direct argument between Jason and Medea, so we're thinking of using that.

James has got some friends who do law who will hopefully be able to put what we want into 'law-sounding' speaking terms, so it sounds like we're summing up the case in proper Ally- McBeal terms!

Possibly have 2 Jasons and 2 Medeas, 1 pair being the emotional couple having the argument in the background, while 1 pair represent the controlled, restarined individuals in the courtroom being cross-questioned.

Need for prosecutor and defence.

How about an Exhitbit Table? We could have Exhibit A – the knife used to kill the children, or Exhibit B – the poisoned tiara that Medea used to kill Creon's daughter, the princess (what's her name). Is this too gory? Or good? Since we're not actually showing the murdering or the kids at any point, maybe this is nicely graphic?! What do you think peeps?

Signing off here….............


Medea : 24th February : SONG

We had the idea of having a piece of singing from the catwalk at the end of the killing of the children – haunting music, maybe resembling the soundtrack from 'Gladiator'. I thought of using the Latin text that is used for requiem masses (masses for the dead) – this is the first section, which I used words from to set to a simple tune in C minor, 12 bars long.

I. lntroitus - Kyrie

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine
et lux perpetua luceat eis

Te decet hymnus, Deus in Sion
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem

Exaudi orationem meam
ad te omnis caro veniet

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison
Kyrie eleison.

(TRAnslation) :
Grant them eternal rest, o Lord,
and may perpertual light shine upon them

Thou, o God, art praised in Sion, and unto Thee
shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem.

Hear my prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy


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