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Better to have a problem to solve, than nothing to do

Hattie today was going for a reading of her play at The National Theatre Studio and she was nervous about what they would think. She feels so exposed when her work is being judged in public. People are going to make decisions about her baby. On the other hand it helps her to hear it read aloud by actors. Hearing with people makes you instantly clear about things that are confusing when sitting along with them on the page. Seen this way round the reading becomes free advice. An investment in the development of the work. What they think of it is almost irrelevant in the light of what she thinks.

For Peter the and Wolf we have an orchestra in the middle of the stage. The was the starting point. What I was offered in the commission. In front of the orchestra is a conductor of course with his back to the audience. If you do anything in front of him all you notice is him. In other words the orchestra is exactly where one would normally want to do the show. For a while I was incredibly frustrated by this and kept trying to think of ways to hide the orchestra with gauze, block them out with screens, perform behind them on risers...

But look at it the other way around - what if I had an idea for a show that needed an orchestra in the middle of the stage. In that situation the problem would be getting an orchestra. Here I have an orchestra in the middle of the stage. So what I need to do is to make that show. Make a show which needs an orchestra, on the stage, in the middle. And that led to the idea that Peter appears in the audience...

If you have problem you have something to do. Something to solve. A direction to go in. When faced with a problem, think of not having the problem. A blank page. Is it definitely what you want?


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