Oct 17, 2007

Moratorium

mor·a·to·ri·um n. pl. mor·a·to·ri·ums or mor·a·to·ri·a
1. Law
a. An authorization to a debtor, such as a bank or nation, permitting temporary suspension of payments.
b. An authorized period of delay in the performance of an obligation.
2. A suspension of an ongoing or planned activity
I like the idea of a moratorium. In part because I like the word Moratorium. It's starched and solemn and faintly sinister, like a musty victorian assylum, full of thick leather straps and decaying specimen jars, where ideas are taken by kind but misguided relatives when they stop doing what they're supposed to.

I like the idea of a theatrical moratorium. As I have said before, the best ideas come from friction, discomfort, something gnawing at your peace, as Howard Barker once said. Yawning blank spaces are no good. We should be tied, constricted, challenged - fighting our way to a brilliant solution that would have been lost in the crowds if all our ideas were allowed to roam free.

For me, blank pages, are all awful. Blue sky thinking makes me nautious. I like puzzles and I like solving them. Thinking while running - slamming into problems and scrambling over them. It's messy and its urgent. I don't want to sit under and apple tree and think. In those circumstances I can't think about anything other than that a) I'm hungry b) I want to climb a tree.

Given free reign I will invent myself obstacles. I once had 1 night and a 90 seater auditorium to do what I liked with. I panicked and did nothing for a month. Then I demanded of myself having no set and no tech. Within a week I had a 40 minute monologue, delivered from the velveteen stalls by an unhinged woman in a shabby evening dress, obsessed with a crime she might have overseen, to an audience huddled on the stage clutching torches that lit the action.

There's no such thing as constricting ideas. The potential for ideas is infinite. Infinity minus a few locked rooms is still infinity. So let's lock a few things away for a while and see what happens. Here are my suggestions. I make explanations and no concessions - make of them what you will:

There will be no duologues
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There will be no plays set indoors
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Any stage shall have no edges
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There will be nothing that can't be carried by two people
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There will be nothing based on real events
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Nothing shall be pre-recorded

So that's my contribution - your suggestions?

3 comments:

Andrew Haydon said...

"something gnawing at your peace,"

Fnarr.

OK, no more Shakespearean punning :-)

Statler said...

There will be no pre-show 'action' of characters wandering aimlessly around the stage as the audience take their seats. This irritated me so much recently I did a blog piece on it

There will be no consumption of food on stage (sorry Whingers).

There shall be no flames on stage ('The Bacchae' was too hot by far)

There shall be no sequels, remakes or recreations of 1980s TV shows (sorry my mistake, that's cinema not theatre)

thom said...

: thou shalt not worship the false Godber.

: thou shalt not have any character tell his age and defining characteristics to the audience directly or via basil exposition.

: thou shalt not start at something dull. in media res people. in media res. if sophocles can fucking do it...

: thou shalt not chekhov.