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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Devised by Third Year Theatre
Students at Coventry University with James Yarker
The piece took as its starting point an interest in the Spanish Inquisition, particularly its paranoia, racism and exploitation for personal and political gain. Echoes of these structures were found through contemporary history into the present day. Research was conducted into methods of torture and consideration was given to interrogation in its various forms. Ultimately the Inquisition's great theatrical presentation, the Auto Da Fe, was used as a touchstone for the final devised piece.
After circulating a briefing document, James spent four days working with the cast in University. The students then worked for six days on their own. Following a further day spent with James, the students advanced their work unsupervised for a further four days. The final performance was pulled together through a further five days working with James.
For the first hour of the show the majority of the cast are on stage, stood in a simple grid format, four people deep and six to nine people wide. From the initially impassive grid, dislocated fragments of scenes leak. These are replaced by the small, brief scenes from which the fragments were taken. Between these Grid Scenes a series of set-pieces are performed by the entire cast. Most of these set-pieces take game structures as the basis for a physical metaphor that addresses the ideas under discussion.
The show's final ten minutes is a skeletal and anachronistic enactment of an Auto Da Fe, complete with burning, hanging and a trial of faith.
Leah Marie Alcock, Sarah Atkinson, Charlotte Baritrop - Gallet,
Clare Bennett, Lucy Blaxland - Hill, Paul Cammock,
Natalie Clarke, Robert Coletta, Stevie - Louise Doheny,
Stace Elton, Katy Farrell, Victoria Gaunt,
Sophie Gibson, Fay Hartland, Mark Hopkins,
Michael Hunter, Matthew Johnson, Katie Jones,
Lian Alice Kelly, Jessica Mcgary, Craig Mckay,
Harriet Millward, Rebecca Morton, Olivia Nita,
Sophie Oldrey, Lisa Perks, Claire Renwick,
Heidi Ryan, Jenny Sear, Samuel Thomas,
Nick Turgoose, Dominic Watson,
Freya Webber, Yao Yao.
Direction: James Yarker
With Thanks To:
Joff Chafer, Cath Cullinane,
Tom Gorman and Geof Willcocks.