Yesterday I met for a workshop with ShadowStage – the UK’s only professional company dedicated to contemporary shadow theatre. Taking place near Green Park in a blacked-out basement, the company comprised of director Leon Conrad, performers Paula and Natasha and puppetmaker Scott (and his marionette Mr. Gao). Within the first hour all involved were rolling silently on the floor with adapted torches, flicking irises and thumbing pools of light. In sum: there are worse ways to spend a morning.

In the afternoon we experimented adapting my story ‘Hang-Ups’ for a short film featuring shadow theatre techniques. The possibilities afforded by the cast shadows – the silhouettes of coiled wire, giant telephone receivers blending with the human form where perspective folded into itself in strangely liquid surges – helped enliven parts of the piece that I had previously considered a little weak and brought pace and emphasis to points that lagged. Thanks to the company’s know-how and inventiveness, just by using paper, lamps and our bodies I think we have the makings of something that’ll deliver delicacy and clout in good measure without my home phone suffering too much in the process.

With a couple more workshops still to go, I’m excited to see what more I can learn about this kind of stagecraft and the whole process of juicing text into physical (let alone lambent) productions. More to come on this project soon, I hope.


UPDATE:  some photos and videos of the workshop here and here.

FURTHER UPDATE: Confirmation from Odeon Wimbledon has come in regarding the ‘Hang Ups’ project, so all being well the installation is confirmed to be staged in October – ‘rrah.

Confirmation from Odeon Wimbledon also in – installation for Hang Ups confirmed for October, so keen to make this happen.