Does anyone know who the dude with the camera was taking pictures all the way through our performance? I wish I’d remembered sooner because, if they’re any good, we could stick them up here!
I think the pictures would have shown us off the effects of how we created an atmosphere pretty well. They’d also be great for marketing our show for Theatre Company.
Well, that’s it, Dramaturgy is now over apart from this blog. The performance has been done, and now all that’s left is to reflect upon it and progress into Theatre Company. So here it is, the review of our performance; outlining the parts that were good, bad, and all the other stuff that goes with a review.
To start with, we’ll look at the technical side. To be completely honest, that could have gone a lot better. The lighting in the studio was on cue and very effective, highlighting the right parts of the performance at the right time and also creating the right atmosphere, as one lecturer described afterwards when giving feedback; he stated that when he came in it seemed like he was entering “an asylum”. This creepiness and sense of unease was sustained throughout the performance in accordance with how we wanted the audience to feel. However, as much as the clinical lighting in the studio worked well, other lighting effects didn’t. To be fair on us though, that was completely out of our control. To put everything straight, we had planned for the lighting outside the auditorium to go out (apart from two standing lamps) just before the performance, followed by a continuation of the blue and green colour scheme with green and blue floor lighting on the stairs leading up to the upstairs corridor. These planned lighting effects didn’t happen due to the fact that security switched the lights off. Unfortunately, because the lights went out, the two performers waiting for that very thing to happen assumed that that was the cue to start, and that meant that the rest of the group was still preparing props upstairs, and that noise carried down to the lower floor while the performance was going on. Thankfully, this did not affect the performance that Braden and Martyn gave, and by the time they were half way through the scene, everyone upstairs had finished their preparations and were ready to carry on. While the problems with the lighting were completely out of our control, the sounds weren’t, and the faults with that were entirely of our own making, as we hadn’t practiced enough with the equipment, and so had no idea of the effect produced by a ukulele and an iPod playing music at the same time. The second mistake with the sound was purely technical in that, for some unknown reason, after pressing ‘play’ on the iPod, there was a gap of a few seconds before the music began to play. The third music cue in the studio went well, and contributed effectively to the scene. To solve the technical problems, we just have to practice with the equipment, and make sure that all the security staff are completely cognisant of our plans.
Another aspect of our performance that could have been improved was the scene on the stairs; as it was, we had no idea of the sheer number of people that were going to turn up to watch our performance. Regrettably, because we hadn’t planned for that amount of audience, some of the audience who were situated at the back of the crowd couldn’t see what was happening on the stairs. Although in that way we could have improved the scene by planning better, those that did see the scene said that the way we had staged it was very effective.
Overall, the promenade style of performance was well received, and was seen to suit the piece well. Our style of acting was; “spot on”, we didn’t “overact or underact” but performed the roles well. The choice for splitting the Doctors’ role into two parts was enjoyed, as the text lent itself to be split in such a way.
In terms of expanding it, we’ve had several ideas, and not just for expanding it, but for improving it as well. One of which was the furthering of the fairground theme, with more, as I’ve called them, ‘grotesques’. This would not only create more roles for the women in our piece (one of the contributing reasons that we chose the scenes we did for this performance) but would also give more chance for experimentation within the piece itself.
We might even decide to create our own ending…
All in all, our version of Woyzeck was enjoyed by everyone that watched it, with great anticipation for what we’re going to produce for our performance at the end of the Theatre Company module which leaves me with just one last comment to make.
Well done everyone, and I can’t wait to get started on the expanded version!
Signing off for now,
For the lighting, we had to take into account, where we were going to set and place in the building, our 15 minute excerpt of Woyzeck. We decided on a promenade style of performance, as this felt most natural when we read through the fragmented scenes chosen. Unfortunately, this then presented a problem for lighting design, as there is only one space throughout our entire performance where specially designed lighting can be used. Therefore, we had to think carefully about the lighting that we did want to use in studio two, and the way that we wanted to use the space in order to keep up the feel of the piece.
When researching Woyzeck, my main objective was looking at the lighting, originally we looked at the filmed version of it by Werner Herzog, staring Klaus Kinski (1979). However, this performance of Woyzeck has mostly what light there would have been if the settings were real, so this was not much help as our piece is tending towards the strange and grotesque. There were other productions that did use strange lighting, such as the production by Vesturport. I have included some of the photos from this production here;
Their production used mainly steely blues, often interspersed with shafts of clinical white light. To highlight the more sensual scenes a more heated colour theme was used, this time mostly oranges, reds and rich pinks. The range of lighting that they used shows the advantages of having a theatre sized rig that is specially designed for your production, as ours is in studio two in the Lpac, we cannot achieve such a variety of lighting. However, that is not to say that our lighting effects will not be as effective as theirs. Our lighting will reflect the way that Woyzeck’s mind is working, (or not working), and will also add to the grotesque feeling to our performance which will have been running throughout the entire production.
More on this will be added after our technical rehearsal has been completed.
Just a quick update on where we are with lighting, though without giving too much away.
Due to the promenade form of our Dramaturgy piece, specific, designed lighting had to be kept to a minimum. This meant that the only space that we could really design special lighting for the piece in is at the end, with the last two scenes in studio two. However, due to the nature of the piece, even that is proving interesting. This is because of the many factors that need to be taken into account when designing the lighting, such as blocking, the space itself, the audience’s position and the physical amount of lights available. As Rachel, our director, has already mentioned, we’re using white material to curtain off the performance space, giving the performance a clinical feel such as you’d get in a hospital. These white curtains may be used to great effect in the actual performance, if the lighting reflects the grotesque, yet clinical feel of the piece.
And that is all the taster you’re getting for now.
Cheer-i-o for now.