The Cagebirds: A Reflection On The Process
What a fantastic journey ...
POSTED BY GEORGIA TILLERY-RANDAK ON 17/04/2020 @ 8:00AM
When I first read The Cagebirds by David Campton, I knew instantly that one day I was going to put this on stage ...
The creative journey of The Cagebirds started off when I auditioned some very talented actors and performers!
copyright: brian tomlinson photography / black sheep collective
I loved the metaphor comparing women to caged birds; trapped, unable to seek their freedom and reach their full potential. Campton has written the script isolating the women in this shared existence in an absurdist way.
"I was really taken with it!"
I first read it over three years ago when my career was in its early stages, and I didn't have the confidence to take on such a work. Now, in 2019, the time felt right to take on the play and put a Black Sheep Collective twist on things.
The creative journey of the piece started off towards the end of last year where I auditioned some very talented actors and performers for the roles within the play. Each brought something very different to the parts, and I probably could have cast the production twice over.
After some switches, changes and deliberation I was thrilled with our final cast, and we met for the first time in November. We came together for our first exploration workshop; an opportunity to allow the cast to get to know one another, the play and the direction the project was going to move in. As if by magic, the cast gelled and became comfortable straight away when discussing ideas and bringing thoughts to the table.
I established early on that I wanted the cast to be part of the project as a collaborator, to aid the creative process; I have never been a fan of a dictatorship in the work/play/rehearsal room.
"After the first workshop, we all went away buzzing with ideas and a brimming excitement for the new year and the project to begin!"
Over Christmas, the cast was instructed to take time to become familiar with their parts and Campton's text. In this time I met with Susan Lee Burton (Burton's Originals) to discuss costume design. Susan's designs were vivid, bright and almost flew off the page.
Each woman was represented by a different household bird, each with her own style and characteristics. Susan has really brought a unique and striking stamp on the production adding to the sheer drama of the show.
In January 2019 the cast began rehearsing. I planned a short and intense rehearsal schedule spanning over five weeks for the cast to rehearse the play as well as putting together a piece of original work inspired by the themes and images mentioned in Campton's work.
We uncovered some intriguing thoughts and social constructs linking to the play which allowed the cast to delve into the negative portal of women throughout the years of society. We established some strong political opinions on a range of subject matter.
Over the last five weeks, each member of the cast and crew have taken to the challenge of devising and putting together what could be perceived as a 'nonsense play' which has made the whole process a total pleasure for all concerned.
"Would you like to know more?"
If you'd like to find out more about The Cagebirds, other productions we have in the pipeline, or just want to learn more about the Black Sheep Collective then do give me a call on 01908 804257 , fill out the form below or click the messenger icon in the bottom right of your screen and let's see how I can help.
Until next time ...
About Georgia Tillery-Randak ...
Georgia grew up in Milton Keynes interested in drama and performance from a young age. She left MK to attend LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) where she studied Community Drama.
During her time in Liverpool, she absorbed the Arts and Culture scene of the city and feel in love with vibrancy and diversity of the arts there. She also studied at ITI (International Theatre Institute) in Singapore where she observed and researched mime and physical theatre as part of a placement.
On returning to Milton Keynes after graduating, along with Danny, they set up Black Sheep Collective CIC in order to fill the gap in the arts scene of Milton Keynes.
Since setting up the organisation, Georgia has written and directed several fringe theatre shows including 'Where's Alice?' and 'Who's Alice?' a twisted adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and most recently 'The Cagebirds' by David Campton. She has established her own style of work nurturing and guiding young talent. She manages and facilitates the Black Sheep creative learning and community outreach program both in Milton Keynes and Northampton.
Georgia is always striving to push the boundaries with her work, allowing opportunities for an audience to question and challenge their beliefs also with an alternative dark twist.
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