When I try to characterise my theatre landscape, I realise that its an imagined landscape, which criss-crosses time and space, with people floating in and out. This makes it sound very ethereal or like it is a figment of my imagination. Stay with me on this… I think its also a little like this picture, where you are walking through a city, in this case Barcelona, and you glimpse something fleetingly. Over a wall is the ruin of a building with an animal who looks like he is heading a ball – is that a football shirt he’s wearing? I can’t quite see… Perhaps its a speech bubble – what’s he about to say? Or is it a final gasp of air….?
Another way of putting it is to distinguish between apprehension and comprehension. Theatre for me is a place where I can come to things, approach them, spend some time with them, see where that takes me; its not the same experience as comprehension where once you’ve understood, the job is done.
It was when I had a rare evening off from the hurly-burly of Drama School that I went down to The Arnolfinfi to watch DV8’s Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men. I was tremendously affected by its emotional power, but I realised that I couldn’t make theatre like that as I didn’t have the visual/spatial anayltic-creative dynamic that would allow me to. I hear the world, before I see it, so my material is words and sound and music. These are my strengths as a maker , but not necessarily what I want to be constrained to as audience.
I also learned, while I was at drama school, that what interested me as much as making theatre was why people might want to make and experience theatre, why it might matter to them. This led me towards cultural policy and academia but also to those making theatre with and from community and diverse constituencies.
I’ve directed and produced and most recently co-written. I’ve taught and advised and written about. I’ve spent a lot of time with playwrights. Working internationally has allowed me to glimpse a vast array of differently constructed theatre landscapes.