Hidden Spire 2013: How Lucky Are You?
With funding secured from Arts Council England, the 2013 project expanded from its roots in 2012, with four sell-out public performances in December.
The theme explored by cast and crew was ‘chance’: the writing group worked with the performers to devise and create a story exploring the role of chance and change in our lives.
The Clock Shop is the oldest business in town, run by brothers Calvin and Alwyn. But things are changing, and the siblings’ future hangs on a thread – and it isn’t just them. Frances has been working on the books for twenty years; she has been engaged to Cal for as long. Edwina, the loyal neighbour, spends most of her time at the shop. And Ricky, supplier of parts and good humour, looks up to Calvin as a kind of father. Will their lives together be swept away like so many loose cogs and wheels off a worktable?
It's all about the experience
One of the participants of Hidden Spire, Tricia McKenna gives the low down on her experience of Hidden Spire...
It started with a group of people getting together in the theatre to improvise movement, prose and artistic concepts for a production based around the theme of "chance".
Since the play days back in September, we’ve all been busy.
Some have been closely linked with the evolution of the characters and spent a couple of busy Saturday mornings outlining the story and certain scenes. The original themes were developed, given names, back stories and purpose in the show providing the actors with a deeper understanding of their characters. Somehow these started to meld and the story and script were born.
Others have taken the concepts of time and chance to design incredible sets, costumes and masks. Now we are starting to see these brought together and interact with them. The imagination, artistry and construction has been fantastic. The media teams too have been creating wonderful graphics to add an additional perspective to the action on stage.
The stage manager has been handed ever growing lists of props required and asked to co-ordinate just how to make scene changes smooth and “instantaneous”.
The performers and technical professionals have tried different ways to interpret the characters, movement sequences and musical interjections. Getting us to sing in tune let alone unison has been no mean task as we each discovered just how high or low we could sing! Many of the lyrics were the result of collective brainstorming and the basic tunes devised have been harmonised and had variations added to complement the mood at any given point in the story.
Choreography was a limited concept for many of us so adding the movement aspects has been an additional challenge for the coaches and directors, but gives the production a lift (literally in some cases) and makes use of the performance space.
Six weeks later and we are about to go into the theatre for our “intensive” week of rehearsals. Everyone is primed to build the sets, try out costumes, act, ‘dance’ and sing our socks off. I, for one. can’t wait to see it all come together. There’s still lots of work to do on staging, technical co-ordination – not to mention learning the scripts - but I’m sure we’ll have a lot more laughs and fun along the way.
"It'll be alright on the night"!
Photography by James Sutton.