We aren't that arrogant, but as with everything in life there is a middle-ground that we happily occupy, smug little grin on our piggy little faces. So, after 18 months since its inception, The Black Propaganda Company, consisting of myself, Katie and Dave transferred our other-worldy selves to the beautifully supported town of Eastleigh in Hampshire, near the Isle of Wight. To be as brief as possible, I really like it down here; the colours, the shapes and the shiny things that so occupy my every waking moment are in abundance here.
Anywhom, to business. We've had a three day stretch of intensive rehearsals working in stimulated parameter-based play - and the feral, unstructured kind too - culminating in the birth of loads of cool ideas for our upcoming project, Lidocaine. We know this so far about the project:
- It is set in a fictional dictatorship in England, under super-Capitalist rule (i.e. Exaggerated)
- There are many pigs involved - Pork and its many derivatives will be iconic
- It will be an immersive promenade show, where the audience will burn many a calorie
- It will attack the almighty -ism complex, begging for that holy grail of the middle-ground
- 60 second change - in between play exercises (after a debrief) we have no more than 60 seconds to transform the set we work with, governed by impulse and instinct, swift and constant motion but importantly, respect for others' own impulses. So we use periphery vision to create and watch creation so that we build on strong foundations without overlapping. This ensures that there is always somewhere in the space that is alien to you and that is home to you.
- Leon - our gas mask and black leather trenchcoat-clad figure has become an established regular in the play, taking on the role of this ethereal and dark omnipresence that we admire, fear and worship.
- Torches - a classic expression here; small sources of light. We've found that torchlight is a great way to ensure focus whilst highlighting physical elements of our playtime that would otherwise be lost in a sea of inadequate candescence. In short, the mundane is made magnificent in torchlight.
- Foreign Language use - very simple principle here; humans mostly fear what we don't know and the best example of that that we all share is in our different tongues. We can utilise linguistic idiosyncracies to highlight the alien in our closest neighbours.
- To maintain energy and ingenuity in play, a wide and varied playlist of music is required. Otherwise the plateau of music can easily govern a plateau of performance. Yawn.
- Finally, we love the idea of shepherding an audience through those moveable check-in barriers at the airport, towards a target of stereotypical comfort. Then using conductors we can deprive them of that solitary joy whilst keeping them tethered to the dream. Carrot and stick, the second oldest trick in the book next to filthy, filthy lies.