Back in 1989 when I was writing up my PhD thesis:
It occurred to me that if I wanted to encourage opportunities for many voices in this thesis, I ought to find a space for those not in the leading parts. Michael Frayn’s play Noises Off provides a stimulating motif in this respect.
During my fieldwork I saw similar teaching scenes being rehearsed and acted. My role, sometimes as participant, sometimes as observer, offered opportunities to see the drama from a variety of vantage points.
In Noises Off, the cast perform a scene from a play ‘Nothing On’. Throughout Noises Off the scene is the same but the perspective changes. Act One is set as if being seen by the audience. Act Two is set backstage. Act Three is set as in Act One. As the play progresses, the rehearsed and measured performance starts to disintegrate …
I wrote up these voices in a chapter in my thesis.
Memories of this writing experience came back to me yesterday whilst listening to Michala Banas and Jason Chatfield talking with Michael Cathcart on Radio National’s Book and Arts Daily. They were discussing the Kin Collective’s play, Glimpse.
The Australian Stage says of the play:
Imagine catching the eye of a stranger in a public place. We do it every day. Now imagine what would happen if you didn’t look away, but took that glimpse and followed it to its end. Created and performed by an assembly of some of theatre and television’s most interesting and engaging performers, Glimpse is The Kin Collective’s first production playing at fortyfivedownstairs from 14 November – 2 December.
Glimpse is a study of ourselves and the moments we share, told through the stories of eight strangers whose worlds are not as far apart as they seem. Glimpse delves into these characters to see what would happen if we let those moments blossom and bloom. If a casual glance became a heartfelt conversation, if a chance meeting grew into a lifelong relationship.
Michala described the stage arrangement for the play. I was intrigued to learn that all the off stage activities that actors do are brought to the wings of the play … and the improvisation process that led to this form of performance.
In the podcast Michael Cathcart brings up the issue of focus of attention. I thought Michala’s response was an excellent example of how we can explain decision-making in sport.
Jason has a short video about Glimpse here.