The Cagebirds: Letting The Bird Out Of The Cage
As a theatremaker, there is always apprehension, excitement and pure terror when putting your work on stage.
There is a desire to impress and amaze, to inspire, to change, to antagonise. You want your work to be memorable and resonate with the individuals who have attended and shared that liminal experience.
For five weeks my production of The Cagebirds was under incubation; slowly developing, finding life in a very safe space where it was loved, respected and nurtured by everyone involved. As a director, when you take your production into a theatre, you have to detach all those maternal instincts and allow it to stretch its wings and fly. I really struggled to do this with The Cagebirds.
Don't get me wrong, the piece was very well received and certainly got the attention of the audience - which is what we wanted to achieve - but a part of me really couldn't let go. I think what was difficult was not having the opportunity to justify and support any of the assumptions that were made from the piece.
I received lots of mixed feedback. Some loved it, some didn't get it, some it really affected and felt it went too far; and it all affected me like it never had before. It was as if I had been judged personally by the audience. Maybe this was because I had put everything I had into this piece? I 'd also loaded a tremendous amount of pressure on myself by both performing and directing.
I think I just wanted to speak out about why I interpreted it the way I did. A Q&A would have been a solution, and the cast agreed to share our interpretation and reasoning behind our choices.
"The whole performance was what I had envisioned and more!"
It wouldn't have been half of what it was without the truly committed actors and collaborators who brought their energy and creativity; and with the vibrant and abstract costumes from Susan Lee Burton (Spike Productions) and an imaginative lighting and sound design by Joe Allen, The Cagebirds became theBlack Sheep Collective's most polished piece to date.
I believe the power and potential of this show is truly great (even if I do say so myself) and Black Sheep will be looking to take the piece to other small intimate venues around the country.
This won't be last time the 'Wild One' is released.
Until next time ...
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