An interdisciplinary discussion of the different way people go about doing collaborative theatre work. Talkers on the panel included Omar Elerian, Associate Director of the Bush Theatre,West London, Michael Bywater, and playwright James Wilson.

Inua Ellams, who wrote 13 Fairy Negro Tales, started off the evening by performing one of his fabulous poems.

The discussion was about finding form, a works shape, in order to tell stories in the theatre. As one person shared with the group, this can be a fine act, ‘Covered in honey wearing moustaches singing the blues, but it all made sense at the time.’ And surprisingly to the audience too! Sounds brilliant, wish I’d seen it.

Sometimes in modern theatre the ideas that you are working with can be very fragmented especially in collaborations when people have different point of view. Theatre is an organic discourse with the audience. The work, Omar Elerian said, isn’t truly finished until the final curtain falls. Different audiences have an effect on the acting of the play. And so too in my reading of storytelling performance I am discovering that the audience and storyteller influence one another by visual clues.

Anyone interested in collaborative work should check out Radiolab as suggested by Inua Ellams. Thanks!

Emma Parfitt

Proofreader for business and academic documents, translations, and English writing.


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