Flaps Theatre Pre-Production: Devising the Performances
Flaps Theatre is my new live performance / series of micro-short films about a variety of cunt experiences, presented from within a giant vagina
I PERFORMED THIS NEW WORK LIVE AT SUNDAY SERVIX ON MAY 4TH AS PART OF DANDIFEST 2014, AND WILL BE RELEASING THE FILMS LATER IN THE YEAR. FOLLOW #FLAPSTHEATRE ON TWITTER FOR UPDATES.
The set for Flaps Theatre is now complete and I have devised the 20 short performances that will form the show.
I started by compiling all the answers I received to my question: “what do you wish you’d been told about cunts?” , then selected a variety of them that would cover a good breadth of experiences. I found that some of the responses covered the same areas so I could group them together for one strong performance.
I used a range of approaches to the monologues, from trying to ‘channel’ the participant’s experience to attempting to describe or relay in a more literal way. Some of the performances include the actual monologues, some were more abstract.
Structure & Variety
I tried to balance out the different types of performance by getting a good spread of dance, singing, music, audience participation, education etc across the board. Some of the performances lead quite nicely into eachother, giving a fleeting sense of narrative, whilst others contrast nicely. At this point me and Becca Patch worked together to cut or switch weaker ideas.
I am so lucky to have lots of talented friends and am really pleased that Becca Patch, Ben Wilson and Ashleigh Owen have all given me help with ideas and choreography/movement for some of the performances. I’m not much of a dancer and I haven’t been trained in performance or theatre so working with people with these skill-sets has really helped to add a bit of spark to Flaps Theatre.
There are quite a lot of movement-based performances in the final selection, but a lot of variety in the way that they are presented. In the final section I perform a dance routine choreographed by Ben Wilson, along with a loosely structured game of ‘penis or not-a-penis’, an awkward glitter-smearing ‘dance’ and a strip-tease with balloon-popping. There are sections which are heavily slapstick, contrasted with some sexiness and more defined movement. I enjoyed experimenting with this, and playing around with what I could present with my body with limited space and time constraints.
I deliberately chose quite cheesy music, and a lot of tracks that would get the audience clapping along. I then worked the performances to the music, perfecting timing and cues. I wanted the whole performance to have a feeling of amateur dramatics, Legs Akimbo style, in exploring an important topic.