The Watcher and the Watched has been performed as a scratch piece for the first time Plymouth’s Barbican Theatre’s festival ‘In the Flesh’.
The theatre has a glass corridor leading to the dressing rooms which is visible through windows on the landing. This is where the audience stood, while we set the corridor up as 3 houses next to each other, with 3 sets of curtains and blinds.
The effect was particularly lovely with actual flats visible behind the corridor and really helped to give that sense of normal suburbia and of genuine voyeurism. Some audience members signed up to watch specifically while others were simply wandering past from one show to the next and stopped to watch for a few minutes.
Performing in a corridor is certainly a little odd and with the audience 20 feet away and through two panes of glass you really have no concept that they are even there, let alone be able to respond to them which was a fascinating if rather puzzling experience.
At this stage of development we are trying out many different ideas, tones, structures and logistical approaches to the piece and our In The Flesh version was a real mix of these. The feedback we got confirmed that we can’t simply mix and match and that it is jarring to change our rules e.g. being able to hear muffled speech, then being able to heard a person’s thoughts in the next scene and then a more cinematic soundtrack in the next! However we also got a lot of ideas about which of these worked better than others so we now be working out which direction to start working on next.
In the Flesh and there was a huge variety of work there and it really is worth a visit. Particular mention must of course go to our friends, Worklight Theatre’s performative presentation How to Start a Riot; and our very own Theo Fraser’s Pretentious, a truly hilarious one-man show satirising those ridiculous, ‘arrogantly artistic’ pieces we have all seen over the years