Three years ago I sat in the rehearsal studio and said to the Ransackers; ‘So…we’re going to make a production with a giant industrial fan, dances by torch light, jumping over drum kits, and feathers falling from the sky, oh and by the way Max (our guitarist at the time)….could you sing, play the guitar, and perform a subtle yet poetical duet with one of the female dancers at the same time?’…and quite rightly, they looked at me like I was crazy. But three years down the line after numerous R&D projects, in which our ideas have developed, transformed and changed, some thrown away and some kept, we are now at an exciting point for the company at which we can bring all of our work together, and complete our production; ‘Murmur.’
‘Murmur’ is a double bill of work including ‘Momenta,’ and ‘Broken Arrows.’ Both pieces include live dance, music and film. ‘Momenta’, is the first work in the programme, and is based on the theme of authenticity. I was inspired by the 1973 television interview on The Dick Cavett Show, with Actor Marlon Brando, in which he describes that ‘We act every day to save our lives.’ This made me look at the theme of, ‘acting as a survival mechanism’, and to work with the cast to explore this in the rehearsal studio. We also explored the notion of finding authenticity; discussing when we find this in our ‘real lives’, and also what this means in terms of being a performer, and without giving too much away-we also involve the audience’s own experience of this too!
The second work ‘Broken Arrows,’ is essentially a love story. The dancers take the audience through a series of different scenarios, which I see as being someone’s memory. They dance at music gigs, travel through search parties, and fight their way through storms, to find the calmness of love amidst the chaos of life. It’s funny how we’ve arrived at this narrative as originally in the rehearsal studio I never intended to create a love story. However the starting point of our exploration was the theme of searching; the idea that we are all searching for something as we travel through life….and now it seems stupid to not have known that the outcome of this would have been love. As we have been developing this work there had been a few different interpretations from the audience (some of which have informed my own view on the work), and it’s been interesting to let the work’s narrative evolve over time. Some audiences have seen a love triangle involved in the narrative and others have seen a more sinister story about the protagonist character; ‘The girl in red’…..but I’ll let you decide.
There’s also another side to ‘Murmur’… Ever since I created Ransack, one of my aims was to create a company whose work is accessible and communicates to all types of audiences. It’s important to me that our audience at ‘Murmur’ feel involved in the performance, have a good night out, and feel that they can chat to the performers after the show. We will present the night in two halves; one a more traditional theatre experience with the work taking place on stage, and the other taking place off the stage, with an immersive feel, involving students from Motion Control Dance and University of South Wales. We’ve also collaborated with Cardiff based band ‘Best Supporting Actors’ (aptly named by chance!) who will join Ransack in our second work ‘Broken Arrows,’ and offer a free gig following the performance, making the evening more of a ‘night out’, and allowing the audience to stay and enjoy some more live music with the Ransackers.
Murmur will be performed at:
Memo Arts Centre,Gladstone Road, Barry, CF62 8NA
Friday 14thSeptember, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.50 / £10 (concessions)
Box Office: memoartscentre.co.uk / 01446 738622 / firstname.lastname@example.org