Laura Mugridge, 27 January 2013

This was a relatively succinct session, with chats about the notion of ‘work in progress’

and how helpful it was to have lots of very academic people telling you what they

think/why they think you should change the title of your show.

We agreed as a group that a show needn't ever really be called ‘finished’ and that, of

course, pieces of work grow and change and develop with time. Having expressed a

fear of the ‘difficult second album’ feelings that I have been having about my new

show in particular, it was pointed out (very helpfully- so much so that I am going to

write it in big letters in my notebook) that when making a show, you should think of it

simply as part of your body of work, rather than putting a ‘sink or swim’ ultimatum on

that one piece of work. See? Helpful. And a really good way of not having a meltdown

when you ‘premiere’ the work.

it was discussed that it is actually venues that seem to be the ones causing problems

around scratch performances, and asking to do companies a scratch at their venue

even if they have been touring for several months previously. It shouldn't be up to a

venue to decide if a piece of work is finished or not.

In finishing a show, or at least announcing it as finished and therefore losing the

‘work-in progress’ tag, it's important to remember WHY you are making the work in the

first place. It is crucial to hold on to the original passion, and hold firm on this even in

the face of criticism, however constructive.

We also touched upon knowing who the scratch was FOR. Is it helpful to get lots of

theatre makers to comment on your work or is it better to metaphorically drag people

off the streets (or literally) to experience the work without the trappings of theatrical


Essentially, announcing that a piece of work in FINISHED is a bit like jumping off a

diving board. You could make an idiot out of yourself by landing belly down/losing your

swimming costume but you could also look super-cool. If you don't jump, you're just

some idiot standing on a board, look a bit nervous and shivering. Possibly wearing



scratch, work-in-progress, finished