London, 13 May
'Berlin Brecht' has come and gone. We hope to take the production to Berlin later in the year. It was followed by a short workshop project, also at london's Drill Hall, on the world and life of Casanova. We gave four performances of a 'work in progress'.
The company are in Canada through late May and early June. There will be a single performance of 'Macbeth' at Theatre Calgary and then we go off to the National Centre for the Arts in Banff, high up in the Rocky Mountains. For two weeks we will work with a group of Canadian actors exploring shared methods of creation and using John Buchan's novel 'Sick Heart River' as a starting point for a new show.
We return to South Africa at the end of June for the Grahamstown Festival and the Shakespeare Conference at Rhodes University.
The workshop performance of 'Casanova' was developed over 8 days of workshops led by Richard Auckland, David Baird, Paola Cavallin, Rebecca Hall and Jane Turner. The performers were Paola Cavallin, Marcia Brooks, Mandy Fenton, Steven Hobson, Claudia Hope, Paul Huntley-Thomas, Michelle Jamieson, Daniel Snell, Ava Taylor and Loulou Macumba.
The workshop process allowed us to develop themes and ideas with a variety of workshop leaders and techniques. The piece developed from an original idea of concentrating on Paola Cavallin as Casanova to a piece of devised ensemble work with a company of 10 actors.
We were able to explore life in 18th Century Italy, the world in which Casanova lived. We studied various performance styles and themes such as Commedia dell'Arte and the interest in cross-dressing which features so strongly in many of Casanova's stories. In addition we were able to relate stories associated with Casanova with the experiences of our own actors.
We explored style and atmosphere to create a world in which to place a narrative.
Director Luke Dixon