Thursday, 28 February 2008

The End

Mole says 'I think we're nearly there' and it's one hour before the work in progress at the Arnolfini. This is four months after we started and a week before the premiere in Leeds Met Studio where our journey began. Whatever happens tonight the tour begins next week. The shoes have been bought. The Pilots costumes have been made. Hand stitched insignias from an army surplus shop. We bought Club Tropicana from i-tunes and a cable to project it with and that's the end of the show sorted. We are set up in the Dark Studio where we arrived a week and a half ago with an empty floor and something resembling a set. We have borrowed fans, heaters and fire extinguishers. A camera case is open. We packed it ourselves. We are at the end and there is nothing left to write. Mole is saying 'I'm empty I'm an empty vessel'. I've wondered when I've been writing this whether it is half full or half empty. I am struggling to fill what I see with sense. I printed this blog out earlier and it has 130 posts. 30000 words about nothing. Or making nothing. Or making something that says nothing. And now here we are. Doing nothing. We hope you come to see The Pilots. We hope you have a good flight. Mole looks at me and says 'Do I look like a pilot?' in the last rehearsal before the audience comes in and I say 'Yes'. Tim turns the lights off and plays Club Tropicana. Mole says 'How do we end this?' Tim says 'What are we doing?' Mole says 'Nothing'. This is the end.

We're outside an airport

Where are we?
We're outside a nightclub
We're outside an airport
We're in a theatre
We're in Bristol
New York

When Tim asks 'Where are we?' he triggers a sound effect of a Boeing 777 taking off. It is loud. It is close. It gives the text an energy it didn't have before. They look up as if the plane is flying over their heads outside an airport and as its vapour trails linger they start to say the days of the week. We arrive in Bristol on Thursday. Where we are now.

It's not changing

We're watching the video of yesterday's rehearsals and Mole says it feels a bit flat. I say what do you think it needs? More urgency. More energy. More emotion. More purpose. Mole says more direction I think. We're wandering around. I feel like we're stuck in this position of wandering and I keep slowing it down maybe we're too tired or something. Tim says I don't think it's too bad it just peaks and troughs I think. We just need more energy I think. For John I'm only dancing it goes up and then it comes down again. And if we play 'Club Tropicana' when Tim's on the floor it might pick it up again. Mole says 'Yeah'. We are not sure. It's not changing. We talk about the moment when he goes Fuck Fuck Fuck I've drunk too much coffee. Please someone take this text out of my hand before I explode. How it could be 'I'd drunk too much coffee when I wrote this.' And how Mole could be more upset in saying this. Like he is stuck in the future of the script. Folding the past into the present. The writing into the reading. And then when Tim has both copies of the script he reads from them both. Maybe moving from mic to mic. Before Mole asks him 'Is that all one person speaking?'


There were a lot of words in it
I'm not sure I've never heard so many words
Reckless shows are normally known for their
It just took me by surprise
A little bit of a departure
Or a shift
To the dark side
And that was only half
So there are a lot of words in the other half too
About the same amount of words
There's a bigger set too
What does it mean?
Did you try the fire extinguisher yet?
We haven't got the right one?
If you pull the pin you're going to get very wet
It's going to have to be a prop one
Yes it was very poetic
Don't have a go at me
It's supposed to read like a script
Something that happens to the voice
When you're reading off a sheet of paper and
Something that happens when you're just speaking to someone
It's a really subtle thing
Sounds like you're still reading when you've learned your lines
One of the things when you polish it
Is when to sound like you're reading a script
And when to sound like you're not reading it
That's a practice thing
We're not really at that point
With this second half
We're also rushing it
I suppose the undercurrent that Spanish Train had
The uncomfortableness that it had in the world
It's a Pinter-esque show this one - very menacing
I've heard that before
It's fucking complicated
Fucking complicated
so many
Not just modes of performance
But also levels of performing
Not performing
Performing when you're not performing
As well as the relationship between
dance and theatre and what performance can be
The internal world of theatre
I had a question yesterday
Is it too knowing?
Yes it is quite knowing
It's in a place that knows quite a lot about theatre
If the knowingness had been a bit surface or a bit crap
It didn't feel like that
There was a lot going on
You could let it breathe a bit more
What like more pauses
Yeah - slow it down
Just that thing
Normally Reckless shows have lots of space
And very beautiful to look at
In quite a conventional way
But you have Pilots costumes
They're quite beautiful
Do I look like a Pilot?
When I asked that question
Did you want to answer me
Did you feel an urge
I thought you were directing that at Tim actually
When you're going don't look at me look at him
There are three of us in that
I think that also not seeing the first half
It\s amazing doing something and thinking
Things don't make sense when you're only looking at the second half
Do you start off as Pilots?
Quite impressive
Quite sharp
Quite dapper
Then you only put them on for two minutes
Think that was quite a nice construct for us
That we're actually not
The whole show is about preparing
For this moment to be Pilots
And as soon as we get there
It's finished
Then we put Club Tropicana on
Don't think that's what it's about
What did you think it was about?
Fucked up relationships
You know when you try and meet someone somewhere and you can never quite make it
Those moments with people actually don't happen that often
It felt like it was a lot of that
Yeah relationships
Your frustrations
With those things
It did feel a bit of a private world
Did you get in it?
Not as easily as I might have done
It's hard to judge
Then you used devices to get me in
Makes me know you're doing it for me
But still doesn't let me in
So there's a barrier
That's not good
But I haven't seen he first half
You do need to let it breathe more
Give me a space
A way in
It was funny too
Made me laugh
I only heard you laugh once
I was smiling quite a lot
When I said
Did I pack that myself?
Because it's such a funny
I hate airports
What am I going to say?
I'm going to end up using the train a lot more
That thing about being a kid
It's quite Pilots and Air Stewardesses
It's quite glamorous
And it isn't really
It wasn't glamorous
Your show wasn't
But that image you have in your head
It was out of reach
It was expensive
And it's not glamorous
At all
Anything else
Is that useful?
It is useful yes
I think it confirms
What we were talking about
We left feeling quite empty
Knowing we had a lot to do
I think potentially
I think you can improvise
Really well
It's that thing of when you
Start to play the same tunes
And you know them really well
You can start to piss around with them
We need to let them breathe
We were hurrying
We need to see where your relationship goes from
It was quite intellectual
I thought
Two degrees and an MA between us
And a proofreader and a licensee
I wouldn't want it to go any further
It starts to be pretentious
You've got to keep the relationship the focus
Rather than what it's like to have a relationship on stage with an audience
If theatre doesn't refer to its means of production it tends to be rubbish
Any artform if it's any good
Engages with what it's trying to do
Where it comes from
What its framework is
If it doesn't
If it doesn't
It's normally crap...

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Technical requirements

We want something very simple and something that really refers to that space. The space that this project occupies. There are a few things that we will be bringing. A fan. A heater. A couple of microphone stands. A couple of stepladders. We ask that all lamps in the theatre be placed on the floor. That we work with fluorescent lights. That if possible we can see outside. If not through a glass window then through a CCTV camera that relays a live image from outside to a crappy TV monitor inside. We want to carry out a sound check onstage at the beginning of the show. We will be rigging one light from one of the ladders and focusing another from the floor. So we need a manual lighting desk and sound desk operated on stage. We will not be touring with technical support. We want to keep the travel associated with this project down to a minimum and if possible we will fit this project in a suit or a flight case.

Do I look like a pilot?

Mole Is that my light? Is this my ladder? Is that my dance floor? Is that my microphone? Do I look like a pilot? Etc. (Mole continues reeling off a list of these questions moving around the stage ending up in the centre. Tim moves SL, sets up Mole’s floor spot, plugs it in, turns off house lights and moves to lighting desk taking his time. Mole gets more frantic with his questions until it reaches a desperate peak).

Someone take this text out of my hand

Mole I’m vacuous. I’m fucking entertainment. I’m fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck I've drank too much coffee, someone stop me. Someone please take this text out of my hand before I explode. (Tim takes script out of Mole’s hand.)