The difference between making work and sharing work

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Director Guillaume Pige brings TheatreRe’s latest production – Blind Man’s Song – to London’s Pleasance Theatre for a three-week season. It makes a notable change from mounting a pre-Edinburgh preview and/or tour. And it changes the nature of the work, as Guillaume explains…

This is a very exciting moment for us, because we have not done a three-week London run since 2013 with our previous production The Little Soldiers. That was just before going to Edinburgh, so in fact we used our time in London to finish the show! It meant that, when we arrived at the Fringe, we were ready… but it also meant that we really spent three weeks adjusting – or rather drastically changing – the piece from one day to the next. This was fun, and healthy for the work, but also exhausting and nerve racking for us.

This time we have decided to do things differently. We took the piece to Edinburgh last summer first and that’s where all the refining and fine-tuning happened. Obviously, this does not mean that we are not going to change anything at all during our time in London. In fact, the piece keeps evolving, but it does mean that we feel more confident about the work that we are bringing.

“Our main focus won’t be on making the work, but on sharing the work. That changes everything. It is a different rhythm and a different frame of mind. It brings a feeling of freedom and audacity.”

It also means that our main focus won’t be on making the work, but on sharing the work. That changes everything. It is a different rhythm and a different frame of mind. It brings a feeling of freedom and audacity.

I should also mention that two of the performers have their faces veiled throughout the show, which considerably restricts their sight and spatial awareness. In fact, they are almost blind for an hour on stage. So to be able to settle on one stage for more than twenty performances is a considerable advantage (as opposed to changing venue every day – which we are doing later on tour and it has its value too). It will allow us to be more daring and take risks.

We also feel very privileged to be on the Pleasance London’s main stage. Firstly, because it is a gorgeous stage, but also because there is space to move! When on tour, we sometimes have to perform in tiny spaces with half of our lighting rig and it never really quite works. Blind Man’s Song needs some space to breathe and grow, and that is exactly what The Pleasance London will be bringing to the piece.

Blind Man’s Song runs at the Pleasance Theatre 27 April to 15 May 2016. Follow @MyTheatreMates on Twitter for details on our competition to win a pair of tickets to the show.

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MyTheatreMates welcomes submissions from guest bloggers and other occasional contributors, including theatremakers commenting on aspects of their shows. Please email your suggestions to Mates co-founder Terri Paddock or submit them via our Contact Us page.