The latest step on our journey to creating our adaptation of the Greek myths Icarus and Theseus was to go to visit St Mary’s Creative Space. Myself and Joe have been working with Quartz, a group of 35 young people aged 13-20 from across the Chester area for the last 3 weeks and are putting plans together for the production in January.
I got very excited whilst at St Mary’s Creative Space because I had the chance to have a good look at the venue we will be performing in and, more importantly, to get my teeth stuck in to what we want to do with the place!
We’ve decided we want to perform with audience on all sides, and as there are 4 beautiful pillars that dominate the space, we have decided to embrace these as part of the architecture of our world. We will have rows of audience between them so that we are performing not in-the-round but ‘in-the-square’.
We will use Theatre in the Quarter’s platforms to create a raised seating area on at least three of the sides. Creating an audience rake that will mean everyone will have a great view that will create an amphitheatre / cauldron type atmosphere in the middle.
Typically as a director I was making bigger than possible demands and asking for as much as I could think of. One conversation went:
- You’ve got four lighting stands, where would you like them?
- Well, it’d be great to have two there, two there and one on either side there and there.
- That’s six. You’ve only got four.
- Can we get six?
There’s going to be entrances on all sides and two slightly bigger entrances on opposing corners. In the other corner I have planned to have the ‘band pit’. I’ve not secured a band yet, or what that might involve but it’s always worth planning for one I think!
Below is a rough sketch I made of what the playing space is going to look like. You may notice it is not exactly to scale and that I’ve got a big confused between metres and feet at different points but I hope it gives some idea of what we are aiming to achieve and I hope you’ll be able to join us to see it for real when we perform in January.