Much has happened to the script of Rift and the production side of things since I last posted a blog.
Did I just say production? Yes. I did. Come and see the show.
Mainly it’s just because I am very excited that we have got such a fantastic creative team on board and it has been a wonderful experience working closely with them to produce final script copy and generate ideas for the vision of the piece.
The production. Have you got your tickets yet?
Robert and I have been in the Studio prior to rehearsals with the cast of Rift, the actors Kathryn O’Reilly (Alice) and Ayo Aloba (Nuru). This has taken place over the course of two sessions over five days and has enabled us to ask some big questions of the script to allow space for its final development. I find it a brilliant way to really expose and explore what I think I am trying to do as a writer. It is an opportunity to hear what questions the actors and director have. It’s invaluable and always makes me ask big questions about character and story in particular.
It’s also an opportunity to edit and make changes to things that don’t work or that I simply do not like.
Because I write in a poetic language it is crucial that I also hear the rhythms I have established to see whether they work or not. Whether they serve the telling of the narrative or not. It is one thing to look at the way language exists on a page, another to experience its tones and textures from actors’ voices.
Sometimes in my imagining I go too far.
Sometimes not far enough.
It’s about being brave with language and discovering its joys, its riches and its pleasures.
A word. A single word can explode a page. Tear it apart. Pull all the walls down.
Here a learnt understanding about marathon running, Kenyan runners in particular has been placed by the side of a language that has emerged from me physically being on Exmoor.
I wanted to see what happened.
I am keen to have characters with unique and extraordinary sounding voices to find a different kind of authenticity in relationship to subject matter.
I am always digging around trying to find something.
Always trying. To find something.
Repetition has become central to the language of Rift. This has in part been influenced by the thought about what compels someone to run and the repetitive act of running itself. It has repetitions that sustain the fluidity or reflect upon the struggle for a fluidity of movement. In the development days we wondered whether one would guide the other. Whether they would struggle, get in a knot, have to have a fierce conversation.
It has been so exciting working with Kathryn and Ayo. They are hugely committed and have brought fresh perspectives to the work. It has been illuminating having a dialogue with them and Robert in the room. A shared experience. Building towards a common language about the play. I have learnt a lot from them.
It is fascinating for me as the writer to witness the creative team investigating and investing in what I have written. It has been a privilege to have that time.
Robert is brilliant at giving space for discovery to happen and for lots of unanswered questions to emerge. It is crucial that a script is seen as something that continues to have questions inside of its pages. Sometimes it is exciting to know that something will feel
just a little bit raw.
I want to also mention that behind the scenes The Brewhouse staff have been working hard on marketing and housing this premiere of a new play about running in the heart of Somerset. I have learnt from their conviction behind this and it has also been a pleasure to share my thoughts and ideas about Rift with them. Thank you.
You can now follow me on Twitter @NatLMcG as I have finally signed up to the twenty-first Century. I will be tweeting from the rehearsal room and in the lead up to press night on Thursday 17 May.
I might also encourage you to come and see the show.