Rosamond Martin, 25 January 2017

This session was, as the title says, about a show I want to make. Although I

acknowledge already that maybe it's not a show, maybe it's just an experience?

It was the last session of the day, on the last day and I'm incredibly glad I called it as it

was incredibly inspiring and helpful so thanks to all the right people!

I am uploading the images of the notes I took throughout, but they reflect how my

brain works and may not be all that easy to interpret. So I will also summarise.

I began the session by explaining that I just wanted to talk about a show I've been

mulling over for some time. I originally applied for a residency with it, and I didn't get it.

However, I had already been thinking about ritual and the personal and social need I

believe we now have for contemporary ritual within secular society: the residency

asked for something that would take into consideration local cultural heritage and from

there came from my desire to research and share with a local community, the social

rituals that those particular societies conducted historically, so that we could then

begin a slow, gentle and sometimes bonkers collaborative process of making our own

new ones.

I imagine cups of tea and chats and stories and dances and songs and wigs and

botched together costumes.

I got some wonderful recommendations for other sources to tap for this slow-burn

research. I need to get in contact with some of the people who gave me these

references as I don't have enough info to find the books etc. yet and I will update the

list of references when I get them.

The ones I have already and am going to look into are:

the maker/teacher Paul Woodward who has workshopped the concept of ritual and

liminal space

a book which I am SO excited about, and which I imagine may under-pin the work to

come, called Dancing In the Streets, A History of Collective Joy, by Barbara Erenreich

We asked why make this work? And what is the intention behind it. And although this

is still an open question some of the answers so far are:

social cohesion

connecting talking and moving, or the brain and the body, or in other words, to

facilitating people using their body in a way in which they can also remain cognisant

provoking empathy with ones environment

enabling individuals to process experiences - when modern life is so incongruent and

surreal perhaps we need an incongruent and surreal reaction to it, which normal/daily

life doesn't provide

We talked about ways to facilitate people participating:

consider the environment

create a structure and know what the rules are

acknowledging different possible states and responses

/acknowledging, allowing and therefor validating what is already happening

a confession at the start

I still have questions about how to set-up the experience, the temporality of it -

whether it exists over weeks with a build up or can stand alone as a one-off.

We acknowledge that experiences we have had that come close to this have been

with a bunch of other willing performers or makers or body workers or has been set up

as a workshop (meaning people expect to fully participate) rather than a performance.

The final statement, made by Jeni Toksvig (and which is a very helpful way for me to

re-frame this idea and overcome some obstacles I anticipate) was “Stop talking about

audience! Just get a bunch of people together and have an experience.”

Session called / report written by Rosamond Martin.

Some people came and went from this discussion so I haven't got everyone's names,

but I wrote down Jeni Toksvig and Tim Norwood. If you were there and I didn't write

your name on the notes please do comment and I will add it.



Ritual, experience, wigs, Bonkers, social cohesion, Liminal, show, Participatory

theatre, Participatory, liminal, facilitating, participatory, bonkers, Facilitating, joy, body,

Experience, Joy, Body, ritual, audience, Audience, participatory theatre