We met with our secondary supervisor this week. There were a number of things that arose which got us questioning our work so far. For example; Cathy recommended we do a Russian accent when portraying the role of Gurdjieff, immediately, we all agreed with a certain “Hell no!” However, the more we thought about it, we wanted to stay true to De Groen’s depiction of Gurdjieff, he was after all a real person. We didn’t want to start doing an appalling amateur Russian accent so we thought about how we could show him in comparison to our other characters. We thought that having him speak in broken English would show that he wasn’t British but didn’t make him a comical character with a silly accent. Although it’s taking some time to get right and adjust the way we speak when playing the role, we’re getting there and I look forward to the feedback we might receive regarding it. Cathy also pointed out that it was often difficult to tell who was male or female as we were multi-rolling and recommended wearing false moustaches and hairbands but we wanted to be more creative than this so we’ve been working this week on gestus for each character. One of her most helpful comments was to show the slow deterioration of Katherine, so the audience are able to see her getting worn down by this man. She should start strong and independent but throughout the performance he gets to her more and more. Her final comment was that our staging should either be merged completely or as two separate sets.
By observing people around us and noticing certain movements or gestures that either males or females perform more often than the other we’ve been working on gestus to indicate whether we’re playing a female or male role and then looking into character analysis to make them more individual. For a male role we are using the gesture of rearranging one’s crotch and for a female role we use positioning hair – the manner in which we do these gestures depends on the character and how much power they have.
Gurdjieff: (powerful character) really emphasises adjusting his crotch, over the top.
Wayne: (oppressed character) adjusts his crotch discreetly, as though not to cause a scene.
Audra: (powerful) flicks her hair back with emphasis
Katherine: (oppressed) tucks hair behind her ear delicately and discreetly.
We have struggled a lot with how to have our staging. We first thought two separate sets completely to show the two separate worlds but then we thought that perhaps merging them slightly would help our audience compare the worlds. We don’t want to merge them completely and just use one because we’d like our audience to see the mirroring happening within the both worlds, emphasising the need for change.
We have begun to rearrange our scenes now to have them in the most creative and effective way possible. We took each scene, with a description and laid them on the floor to rearrange – a clear and helpful exercise.