Friday, 14 November 2008

DV8 ‘To Be Straight With You’ National Theatre

‘DV8 Physical Theatre's work is about taking risks, aesthetically and physically, about breaking down the barriers between dance, theatre and personal politics and, above all, communicating ideas and feelings clearly and unpretentiously. It is determined to be radical yet accessible, and to take its work to as wide an audience as possible.’
(, artistic policy)
To Be Straight With You is a piece of verboden theatre which challenges the audience to think about homophobia and what happens in every corner of the world in religion, governments and stereotypes. Because all the words were from songs, newspapers and interviews with people who have experienced the darker side of homophobia it makes the performance moving. In putting these words into physical form and performing on stage it brings to light just how sheltered we are living in the UK. It takes DV8 to produce a piece of theatre for us as an audience to sit up and take notice of what is happening in the world.
Although these words are just a catalyst, it is an astonishing piece of dance theatre. The movement created by these performers’ bodies is astounding. With their understanding of their bodies they push themselves to create movement so natural to them they can say a whole monologue while skipping with a rope. To be able to even speak let alone project your voice after 5 minutes of skipping amazes me. It is this dedication of DV8 and their performers to the movement that has always drawn me to their work.
Props are used throughout the performance to juxtapose the choreography. To go back to the monologue and the skipping rope. The monologue talks about how he was gay and because of his religion he could not tell his family. When his family finally found out the dad stabbed his own son down a back alley. Still alive he was left to die. While all this is being described he skips around the stage performing aesthetically pleasing moves in a child-like way. This playfulness of the skipping rope contrasted with the harsh reality of the monologue makes a stirring solo.
The use of technology was superb. From the simple use of chalk to high quality projection of the world that shows different countries which has homophobia in their government. Some even carry the death penalty if you are found to be gay. It is this kind of shock information that is carried through the performance and how naive people can be towards how people treat homosexuals even though we are all made from the same substance.
This complemented by the sharp choreography and understanding between performers produces one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Creating Verbatim Theatre

After having the interview with Stu and the lesson afterwards, I realised how hard it would be to create a piece of theatre without pushing my own views onto the directing.

We listened to all the interviews in the lesson then put them in order if we were to create a performance. Without thinking much we had structured our performance to be dead against binge drinking and we didn't realise until it was pointed out by the tutor, Mark.

I did a bit of research before I had the interview. I found out that to be classed as a binge drinking, you have to drink double the recommended daily amount in one session. This means you need to drink 8 units for men or 6 units for women to be classed as a binge drinker. That is only 4 pints of lager for men or just 3 pints for women.

I work at the Cabbage Patch and like all pubs we have our regulars who come in most days of the week. They come in and drink with ease 6 - 7 pints throughout the night but are these classed as binge drinkers or to be a binge drinker do you have to be a certain age?

Interview with Stuart Green from the Cabbage Patch

Interview with Stuart Green manger of the cabbage patch and ex student of St Mary’s

Dan: Right, as an ex student of St Mary’s do you think students are drinking more now than they did when you were there?
Stu: (pause) No
Dan: No
Stu: Absolutely not. I don’t think they are drinking any more, I think the problem is ... it’s it’s it’s erm much more widely reported and erm documented about how much people drink now. (Ok)That isn’t just students thats everyone. (Yer) The industry it’s self is is much more heavily regulated than it’s ever been. Company called the Portman group have gone down all companies now has to adhere to to erm certain regulations where they must, any drink promotion (Ok) have to be met with certain criteria (Ok) and have to be met with responsible drinking messages. You can’t actively advertise shots any more particularly or you have to do it in a very different way other than encouraging people to just get drunk on shots. (Ok) So I don’t think they are drinking less or drinking more I just think people are more aware of what they’re drinking.
Dan: Fair enough er when you were at university did you have to do any initiations when you were at when you were in a small group or did you see any initiation? Yer?
Stu: Yes I did yer.
Dan: Yer?
Stu: Yer absolutely erm.
Dan: Was it savage, harsh?
Stu: Erm I did the football initiations. (Ok) They were fairly savage but only for the first week or two and then it calms down. The novelty (Yer) wears off erm.
Dan: But I mean with this year I mean the AU president has actually talked to the presidents of each er (Yer) society and said look you need to calm it down and if you don’t start calming it down people will definitely will die from it and that will be the cause.
Stu: Is he not calming it down because is he not bound to the erm national union of the students who are request that due to the erm the footage obtained by the BBC?
Dan: Maybe
Stu: Which kicked off this whole campaign
Dan: Yer, yer erm maybe but I mean
Stu: Would he have do it if if it hadn’t been pushed into the spotlight?
Dan: That was.
Stu: I don’t know, I would suspect, I would assume not. Because it seems to me that that again one piece of information has come to life erm an initiations and I viewed that footage shown that the BBC obtained if you didn’t know what was going on yes it did look a little harrowing but it was a tongue and cheeky operation that erm that I don’t think the organisers which assume themselves went out to do any harm.
Dan: No I mean they never do.
Stu: Alcohol consumption as as a product is just that that statistically from what the information I’ve received there isn’t any more and more youngsters seemed to be drinking but these youngsters are under age. People who are drinking erm in the sort of the 18 to 24 bracket seem seems to be up but no one’s seems to mention the fact that actually the statistics that they’ve obtained have a lot more younger people erm in them now than they ever used to. (Ok, ok) Erm so therefore are there are there actually more kids drinking there probably not. I I don’t think they are I don’t think it doesn’t seem to be. It’s more what seems to have happened is the kid it’s become harder and harder for youngsters under 18 to buy drinks and then the people who are legal seems to erm drink drink in excess a lot more erm drinking culture itself seems to have been erm suppressed to weekends now as a pose to all day all week drinking. People now haven’t got the disposals income that they used have so they save up and then they go on a bender. (Ok) which is I’m not condemning that I’m I’m not condoning that sorry Im not saying that it necessary a good thing because it is dangerous I just it is a lot more noticeable now and now the licensing laws have been pass to councils as a pose to erm involving local residents as a pose to magistrates erm it the information available to residents is a lot more and so I think it just a cultural thing and booze is to blame and it is to blame for some of it but not all of it.
Dan: Not all of it.