NoMa Development Week - Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Updated: Jan 15
"Now Matters"... or maybe "Nothing Matters"... It's No Ma Problem... oh wait, actually IT IS!
It's January 13th 2020, and I've just finished the first week of development with Bandwith Collective, on NoMa. A creation by collaborators, Nicholas Barton-Wines, Laurie Motherwell, Kenneth MacLeod and, now, ME!
Having known about this development for sometime, I was only too keen to get into the room and get to work, discussing the themes, the rules and the subject matter of this piece of theatre. I joined Nick, Laurie and Kenneth on day 3 of their week long development. I was very excited to see what they had come up with in my absence, and I was very keen to pitch in ideas and contribute to the work.
Having never worked with Laurie or Kenneth before, I was looking forward to seeing how they worked, having admired their work for a long time. Actually, Kenneth and I were at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at the same time, but never got the opportunity to collaborate together.
I arrived on the Wednesday morning, and in true Nick fashion, we had a open and honest chat about what we wanted to achieve and what we needed to do this. What I like about working with Nick, is that not only is he a truly brilliant theatre-maker, he always makes me feel trusted and valued. I made promises to the group that I would be brave in my thoughts and that I would be honest in my opinions.
The rapport in the room was instantaneously good humoured, with jokes and banter coming from all angles. This made for a very relaxed atmosphere, which was well needed given the heavy subject matter.
"Be Courageous", Timothy Snyder.
The conversation gets deep. It gets dark. it gets passionate. We are creating a world, not too removed from our own, but with an Oligarchy as a head of state, and a tyranny over society. We realise very quickly that a strong narrative is going to be key for this piece of theatre, and scheme to find our main characters story arc. That is the task for the next couple of days.
I love this kind of work. As I mentioned in my first blog, I am a storyteller. Before all the sound, all the music, before any kind of structure or form... there must be a good story. I keep this in mind throughout this week, and at the forefront of everything I constantly ask myself two things:
"Is this entertaining?"
"Do I understand it?"
These are the most basic of questions, but I believe that if we fail to answer these questions properly, then we will fail to create anything that an audience will enjoy.
We now need to wait. We have a two week rehearsal/development period at the end of March, which will result in two work-in-progress sharings for an invited and public audience.
Between now and then, I plan to reflect on my own artistic practice and my methods. This unique approach to collaboration saw all four of us work together to deliver this initial phase of the storytelling and the narrative. I have never worked with such creative freedom before. My initial thoughts are extremely positive. I am impressed with Laurie, Kenneth and Nick, their attitude, and their work ethic.
Check out NoMa at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow on April 4th. Tickets on Sale NOW!