Inviting mayhem to tea: collaboration & participation

Risky? Yes. Terrifying? Yes. Impulsive? Yes!

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Last week we spent time working on Oz with Holly Stoppit, our visiting artistic director. As a company we’d spent a hunk of time devising Oz. After the first performance in Leicester, we’d got a pretty good idea about what worked, and which sections were a bit cranky. Our invitation to Holly was Carte Blanche. She got to listen to, and see our progress, and cut the show up into confetti, throw it up into the wind and see which fragments where too stubborn to leave.

Our time with Holly was all about saying yes, Yes, YES! …Yes to the invitation. Yes to playing. Yes to let’s test that. Yes to reflecting afterwards. Yes to trust.

Yes to collaboration.

As with many of the Oz collaborative creative relationships, this was about bringing in someone who makes a particular sort of magic. Why constrain or artificially constrict that potential, just because it feels safer? No, no, NO!

Holly caught us when we stumbled, and helped our characters fly. Yes, there was a lot of confetti, some radical changes for each character and the show’s structure. Is Oz performance stronger? Yes! Are the characters more interesting and complex? Yes!

Can Lion, Tinman and Lion now engage participants in a more thoughtful, challenging and comedic manner? Yes.

Can Lion, Tinman and Lion now collaborate, make mischief and form (safe) conflictual relationships with participants? Yes, absolutely.

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