Xenophobadelica - Notes from the rehearsal room (Part 2) - By Megan Griffith

Xenophobadelica - Notes from the rehearsal room (Part 2) - By Megan Griffith


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Day 3

Today was exciting as we got the performance up on its feet! Though the first two days were immensely productive in terms of debate and discussion, today is the first day I have got that BUZZ!

We worked on trying to make one of the poems more evocative by doing a visualisation exercise. We left DawN alone in the rehearsal room for several minutes and then re-entered the space and asked her to navigate us around it, pretending it was the place she refers to in the poem. Though we were imagining this as literal geography, it emphasised the importance of personal geography and really enhanced DawN’s delivery and the nostalgia the piece at times provokes.

So far a promising start, I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow!!

Day 4

Today we ended up rehearsing in my living room, which was actually really fun! Lots of storytelling and giggles. Often you have to be silly to find new things in your work, and I certainly feel we achieved that! One of the highlights was realising what a funny life we lead as Lisa, Rachel and myself sat watching Dawn perform her burlesque number at 10am to realise there were several people watching from the balconies opposite. Oh Drama…

Rachel (Moorhouse) returned to us today and it was really fun to show her what we’ve changed and worked on. Having a new audience member always brings a new energy to the piece so it was exciting to sort of show off our new stuff to her!

Throughout the process we have been continually questioning DawN, even when perhaps she is tired and finding something difficult to articulate. “How does this make you feel? What are you trying to achieve? Why is it here?” I am beginning to realise that so much of it has to come from the performer, even if they often feel how you suspect they do, in discovering this themselves there is more of an authentic journey and a bigger pay off when the goal is reached. So one of the biggest things I am going to take on from this is “CONTINUALLY ASK “WHY?”!”

It feels like we have created a safe space, a trusting, nurturing, warm and creative environment in which we can all get the best from one another as we work together.

Day 5

So after a couple of days off, today was probably my favourite day so far! We played. A lot. DawN was really excited, having recently taught her first Zumba class, so I did lots of Zumba with her as a warm up, super fun! Saying that it was the most fun, is actually funny, as today was the first time we hit a bit of a wall too, and it’s odd that the two often go hand in hand with one coming from the other and eventually rectifying the situation.

Some of the speeches we had really gotten down over the weekend had for whatever reason become a little stale and none of us could work out what had changed. It’s difficult to not overdo things and to identify whether things have actually altered or whether you just feel differently about them having seen them multiple times. Anyway, this difficulty resulted in the three of us (DawN, Rachel and I) pretending to be our favourite pop stars and having a bit of a karaoke session, dancing around the room. We then channelled the energy and excitement from that into the speech and bingo!

Later in the day, in one of DawN's introductory speeches to Prince, we were missing that youthful enthusiasm DawN embodies so beautifully, so we took her back, asking which music video she wanted to be in when she was younger and then recreating it, even filming her. I think using music in the rehearsal process is so beneficial as it is such a mood setter and gets people so excited. I am a big fan of Prince and love the idea of a show created around your favourite pop star and your connection with their music. Music is such a personal thing, an emotional encyclopaedia of history to every individual to chart their life by, which is one of the reasons I think people will be really excited by and connect with the show!

So all in all it has been a rather fantastic week! It’s going by in a whirlwind, however instead of tired and grumpy I am totally adrenalized!

Something DawN said on one of the first rehearsals has really stuck with me. When asked why she creates art she responded “out of the necessity to communicate with people.” I think this sort of encapsulates the essence of our show already. Wanting to connect with people. To share. To search for recognition in others similar experiences and to make the audience reflect. And that is why I am so excited to share Xenophobadelica with you guys in ONE WEEK! Book your tickets now!

Over and out,

Megan xxx

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