THE CLEANSING OF CONSTANCE BROWN presented by STAN'S CAFE
@ A E Harris, 1st - 19th March, 18.30 & 20.30 (running time 70min)
(no perfs. Sundays or Mondays)
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A twelve hour long theatre show devised and performed by third year performing
arts students of De Montfort University, based at Melton Mowbray College, under
the direction of Craig Stephens and James Yarker from Stan's Cafe.
Stan's Cafe got a call from Plane Performance late in 1997... would we be interested in taking over the supervision of a project they could not complete due to illness?
The two major elements already in place which we retained were the title, "Nightshifting", and the duration... 12 hours. From there on it was up for grabs.
From this starting point we worked with the team constructing a series of strands, strategies and structures for getting both them and the audience through the night. What resulted was a free wheeling, half chaotic, strangely intense night.
Sometimes the material was dreadful and occasionally, especially when consumed by fatigue, a little inspired. By the time 8am came round we felt wedded to the cast through some shared experience. It was almost enough to send us scurrying off to read Richard Schechner again.
The aesthetic and ambition is best summed up in the words of a disparate, argumentative and ultimately charming performance team and their programme notes (see below).
The following year we were invited back to start a project from scratch with the next year's Third Year's performing arts students at Melton College, this piece became The Hearing of Susan Tuesday.
Because of the character of the contract we have entered into, the rules one would normally associate with the theatre will not necessarily apply here tonight. Due to the nature of the performance, it is not required that you watch this show as you would watch any other piece of theatre. This is no "any other piece of theatre."
It was developed around the structure of "A Midsummer Nights Dream" [...] Shakespeare's play weaves its way through the performance, and through the night. The concepts concerning vigils and rituals also appear [...].
This evening's performance was also developed around the reality of twenty-four hour television programming. Colloquially, this means that we have taken the genres one is able to find on television throughout the night, and transferred them into a theatrical format. The performance is also based around life, what an average person might be found doing over the course of the twelve hours [...].
This evening offers you the privileged position of being a spectator into the transition between process and performance. These elements will not tonight, be separated and will be observed concurrently.
Devised and Performed, with lighting designed and sound mixed by:
Kay Sarah Morgan
Directed by Craig Stephens and James Yarker