Updates on Writing, R&D, supportive frameworks and spreadsheets.

A lot of writing involves things other than writing – there is a lot of thinking, a lot of dreaming, a lot of procrastinating doing other things. There is also, depending on the project a lot of planning and working out the scaffolding of everything and how it works (the dramaturgy) and other research.

If you are lucky much of stuff that surrounds actual writing can be collaborative, especially in theatre. For Mechanicals’ Macbeth we have done some R&D with the concept and idea and also performers playing around with situations. It is a work of intricate layers and structures and is actually very complicated. Once written and in production it will hopefully not feel complicated – but the depth that supports what you will see on stage will be strong and supportive and allow the comedy to entertain. It was in recognition of this that we made the decision to not write it in isolation but to open out the consultation around the writing and engage with other perspectives. (You can still do our R&D survey here)!

It’s also worth mentioning here that having a supportive and involved director is the best thing ever! It’s so important to creativity to surround yourself with other artists that you connect with – especially when embarking on such a big project.

So, onto some Behind The Scenes/ Process:

Source and Structure.

In the case of much of In Souliloquy work we have a source text and character. With Mechancials’ Macbeth there are two source texts – Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth – the whole plays as well- not just one through-line/character journey. There needs to be a lot of deep interrogation of the source material for a show such as this and it has been a delight to rediscover these texts in constantly new and different ways. We are consciously using the structural layers of these works in Mechanicals’ – to underscore our new narrative journey.

Story.

From this, together we have knocked out the structure and story and timeline of the play. In some ways this is quite similar to devising/making a show – because you are building it in a different way to just writing it. This isn’t about writing to particular beats or hitting particular points at particular times – more so managing a lot of characters and a lot of action and knocking that into something that makes narrative sense and is fun to watch.

Characters.

We have six Mechanicals’ characters (Quince, Snout, Bottom, Snug, Flute and Starveling) – these characters from Midsummer are then of course cast in Macbeth. Them dipping in and out of these is super fun but needs to be precise in the writing, direction and performance. We also have a new original character that interacts with the others in a puckish role and brings our ensemble to seven. It is key to us that no character let’s lost in the mayhem and it doesn’t become “the Bottom show.”

As part of our character work we have been exploring the physical aspects of the group and are working with Shelley Knowles-Dixon as a movement director. This is really exciting in terms of fleshing out characters!

Spreadsheets.

This is the first play I have written that I have felt compelled to put structures etc. into a spreadsheet. With seven characters and lots of action it is going to prove super useful once the first draft is written to check in with. Hopefully it will also prove useful with directing choices and scene transitions and all the other times when everything is confusing and your brain is like “you know what would be really useful at this point? A spreadsheet.” Looking at the structure like this as well as in dot points is also useful as you can fill out extra character columns, and crucially also running time.

It’s a beautiful thing.

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Consultation/Collaboration.

We’ve been doing wider R&D!

Thank you to: Jackson, Kate, Emma, Shelley,Jeannie, Ivana, Jodi, Nicole for your in person participation and everyone who so far has completed our survey. It’s actually super useful and has already helped inform what goes into the show or how we approach mashing Midsummer into Macbeth more that we initially thought we might.

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We have lots of lovely big roles of paper for mapping out big ideas – and it’s been just fabulous to work with such a lot of people giving time and thoughts to the project.

So there you are, stuff is moving, things are happening and in exciting news out of all this actual proper writing is happening. The script is pulling together! It is moving – we are on the way. Honestly, writing is at times isolating. But it helps to know, just as our dramaturgy of Mechanicals’ Macbeth holds up the story – my director, R&D participants, performers we have cast and our In Soulilouqy team hold up me.

Much Mecanicals’ love.

Tilly x

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Mechanicals’ Macbeth R&D Survey!

We are well into R&D for Mechanicals’ Macbeth and it’s chugging along very nicely – we are using lots of wonderful brains and lots of paper and fleshing out our Big Fat Idea into a play.

As part of this we have a survey that we would love you to participate in! A few questions that open out our process to a bigger net of people.

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I’m sure that the collated answers will end up on a huge roll of paper! You don’t have to be a super Shakespeare or Theatre person to participate. All we need is a little bit of your time. You can access our google form HERE.

Thank you so much! We truly appreciate each and every response.

 

Mechanicals’ Macbeth – A Witches Extract – Rehearsals for Pop Up Shakespeare!

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Not sure we need to post more than our wonderful cast Kate, Jon and Yvan rehearsing in St. James’ Park today. We are very excited to be sharing our scene this coming Sunday and next Tuesday on The Parkland Walk. Come see some lovely Shakespeare for free!

The event is being run by Attila Theatre and is part of the Crouch End Festival! All free – details here: https://www.crouchendfestival.org/events/parkland-walk-pop-up-shakespeare/

Written by Tilly Lunken and William Shakespeare and directed by Victorine Pontillon this extract is part of our early R&D on a full length show.

Introducing: Jonathan Cobb as Flute/Witch Two for Mechanicals’ Macbeth: A Witches Extract!

Returning to our stage again we welcome Jonathan Edward Cobb as Flute and Witch Two for Mechanicals’ Macbeth: A Witches Extract for Attila theatre’s Parkland Pop-Up Shakespeare 2017.

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Jonathan graduated from Drama Studio London in 2014, and in 2015  was very lucky to perform out at Vienna’s English Theatre as Justin in ‘The Fox on The Fairway’. He has toured three Shakespeare productions; ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Romeo), ‘King Lear’ (Edmund) and ‘Measure for Measure’ (Lucio) with Quite Right Theatre around Italy and recently has been performing in ‘The Sentence Snatchers’ at The Rialto Theatre in Brighton. He has filmed the feature film ‘Hippopotamus’ Recently finished performing as Idle Jack in ‘Beauty and The Beast’ at The Leatherhead Theatre. He Appeared as Malvolio and Sebastian in C Theatre’s ‘Shakespeare in The Garden: Twelfth Night’ at C South (Venue 58) St Peters Church as part of the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe.

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(You can also check out Jon’s Don John In Souliloquy here and his turn as Sebastican for #EtTu @ Briefs here)

Mechanicals’ Macbeth – A Witches Extract is on as part of Attila Theatre’s Pop Up Shakespeare event in the Crouch End Festival.

  • Sun, 11th June 2017 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Tue, 13th June 2017 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Parkland Walk N4 3EY.

Come find us near the Graffiti bridge!