post-show discussions

After a relatively quiet March things starting getting busy again in April. We held a Research & Development period for WELL – our aerial dance theatre piece exploring arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh culminating in a 45 minute showing to industry and critical friends. Mostly Noah was out of the rehearsal room until the post-show discussion when his babysitter had to run for a train. So yet again I spent another post-show discussion breastfeeding. It’s becoming a bit of a trend.

And then we held auditions for the third performer for Monkey & Crocodile – a trumpet playing Crocodile’s Mother. A bit niche. I have so many actors writing to me asking to be seen for Metta shows and I always feel a bit sorry for the straight actor types because unless you’re an opera singing, puppeteering stilt walker you’re unlikely to get a look in.

And now to pack for Morocco – we’re off for two weeks to research and develop a new show HALQA – with Lahcen Razzougui, star of our ARAB NIGHTS last year, which will explore the oral storytelling traditions of Morocco. I can’t wait, and neither can Noah I’m sure – it’s his first trip abroad and his first flight. Finger’s crossed he doesn’t scream the whole way there.

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Love’s Letter’s Lost

(a love affair between Paper and Ink, for two voices)

SHE
Waiting for the lines

HE
The lines, the lines

SHE
Waiting to be filled

HE
Waiting to be sealed.

SHE
Thick and white and blank I lie
gazing up beneath the sky
Waiting to be filled

HE
Through her I live,
she gives me life, she lets me breathe

SHE
My edges curl, they rip, they tear
they gently undulate the air

HE
It is flirtation, invitation,
Paper flutters, palpitation.
She calls for words

SHE
Through him I live,
he gives me life, he lets me breathe

HE
I scrawl a story on her skin
of passion, of what lies within

SHE
He scratches out his joys, his pains
along my length and back again.

HE
I dot the ‘i’s’ and cross the ‘t’s’
each stroke a gift – when suddenly

SHE
The Scissors glint, they glare, they growl
Metallic mouthed into a scowl
Those cold blades wink
jealous of the Ink
envying the power
to conjure hour by hour
worlds of words, on the brink
of bursting forth in song
but silenced by steel’s long –
by Scissor’s deathly stare
that snip the trembling air
vibrating with the promise of
the whispered nothings of true love

My mighty Pen, mightier than sword,
than Scissor blades who rent the air
and unlike Ink can devastate
But never create, no never create.

HE
Jealous blades out to destroy
will slice and sharply slash our joy
They cannot bear our happiness
To save her I must sacrifice
I’ll pour myself, my soul, my all
to flood the words, the worlds, the small
attempt at reaching human hearts
and in so doing I depart –

SHE
The Ink is spilled, the deed is done
it spreads, a stain, begins to run
bleeds through me, bleeds about me still –

HE
But there are things you cannot kill.
Though I am spent and drying now
the tiny scrawls of love avow
a feeling that you can’t destroy.

SHE
And heavy, sodden though I am
I am in tact, which must annoy

HE
So jealous steel is not requited
although my ruin has delighted
love’s letter’s lost is not enough
to soothe the shining glint of lust.

SHE
In rage the blades cut through the lines
and through my skin and though he finds
an extra thrill in this reduction
it leads him to his own destruction
My lover’s blood still wet and raw
begins to clog his shining claws
and as I fade, in shreds, he must
I know, at last, succumb to rust.

SHE
So while the Ink and I expire

HE
We know there will be others

SHE
Some will be cut, some burnt in fires

HE
Some shredded, flooded, smothered

SHE/HE
But Paper and Ink will seek always
to meet, to mark each-others’ days
to leave those marks, those scrawls of love
vibrating air with promise of…

While blades will rust and fires will die
new pale blank Papers always lie
ready for Ink, to be transformed
to be transported, to be adorned

SHE
Waiting for the lines

HE
The lines, the lines

SHE
Waiting to be filled

HE
Waiting to be sealed.