Monthly Archives: January 2015

Punching The Sky. Final Development, Feedback and What Now?

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So ahead of the final scratch performance in the final venue before the hoped for full tour of this piece that’s still here… I wanted to share some feedback and a bit of ‘what next’.

The final scratch is at one of our partner venues Theatre in The Mill, Bradford, run with a community iron fist by the beady eyed, generous-of-anecdote, Iain Bloomfield (my autocorrect tried to turn that into Blofelt, just so you know) – who’s support has been hugely appreciated.

Iain said this last time…

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And see the show you will Iain. I like Iain.

This final scratch show will be supported technically with wizardry by Ivan Mack, who was there for the original showing last year and had this to say: IMG_5467

 

Which was nice. I also like Ivan.

So we’re looking forward to going back. And I hope you’ll think it was beautiful, or something close.

Other’s have said stuff like this: 

Really insightful example of motherhood. Would love to see full version!

Amazing piece

Deep dark story, needing to be told, and told very well.

Excellent though the female voice could be louder. Frustrating coz wanted to hear the rest of the story. I look forward to seeing the finished project. The man at computer/internet was a clever touch.

Pretty powerful stuff. Admiration for telling it straight. Actually like the inline apologies for missing sections and the improv with bare essential props.

The first part of the excerpt created empathy of the son and the situation and the informal dialogue with the audience was nice and invested us into the piece.

Very powerful and gripping. Would come to see the whole show. I felt the idea of personifying the internet was great but good to explore other ways of presenting its ‘character’. Not sure what that might be – maybe it could keep changing.

Felt very uncomfortable.

Very humorous. very real – remember the story and being shown the video. Addresses some real issues about availability of porn. Would like to have seen more.

Well, I’ll read the blog post first. Remembered me of the difference of having a first child and his brother later. I liked the performance.

Really brave. Would like to see more.

Too short to really get to grips with it but imagining the whole thing would be good to share. Raises some questions that are still very socially relevant.

Very moving – terrifying – out of control – how to survice this? Feel relieved this all happened after my own child left primary school. Liked the device of the actor being the internet – young man being the child. Thanks.

So I feel we’re on the right track and the journey – a long ole one at that – is well worth it.

The media have gone all quiet on the whole subject of online pornography – they got bored – which only serves to make me feel that the general perception of what I’m doing is ‘enough already’.

Well, not a lot has changed, and I’m going nowhere.

WHAT’S NEW?

Well, since the first ACE funded R&D we’ve made changes to the show, ready for a full tour later this year (subject to funding – *smiles at ACE).

So… I’m not in it any more – I was never meant to be (see below). Someone else is playing the Mum. And the son is no longer physically represented onstage.

This crucial further development is about liberating this very personal, true story from its documentary style focus on me through significant re-writes working towards a script with universal themes that can be interpreted by future performers.

My performance as ‘me’ in the early stages was invaluable in providing a clean emotional thread to the piece. However some audience feedback suggests they are engaged with my ‘skill and bravery’ in standing up and telling how it is and find it hard to separate ‘me’ from the material. To take the play forward with a future cast it needed liberating from its reliance on my performance. The experimental nature of the process means that I could look at where the more documentary style delivery in the previous version moves into true drama and, actually, what’s the difference? Does it matter? The piece in its latest guise has been well received and continues to promote enormously diverse debate.

The show has gone from a cast of 5 to a 2 hander. It keeps the original source material at it’s heart, and looks deeper into the roles of the Mum (played brilliantly by Rebecca Stokes) and the internet (played equally brilliantly by Paul Fox), and the nature of the relationship they both have with the son.

So, there have been fundamental rewrites and we’ve been working with former partner the Lowry and new partner Slung Low at the Hub on developing and refining the themes of the play.

I just must pause to say a MASSIVE thank you to Matt Eames at the Lowry and Porl Cooper from Slung Low – their ongoing support has meant that Punching The Sky lives, breathes and grows (like a monster, yes, but a crucial monster… you know the type).

Oscar speech over.

If I do my job right – as a mother and a writer/director (and an approachable-chatterbox-on-gentle-soapbox) then at least this show has a hand in this crucial debate that I REALLY don’t think should grind to a halt just because the media are bored.

Thank you for listening. Come and see it at TiM if you can.

Oh and this is what my son has to say. (From the R4 Today programme)

THE TEAM

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Writer/Director: Lizi Patch

Co-Creative Producer: Mark Hollander

Mentor and all round good egg: Porl Cooper

Designer: Scott Thompson

Animation:James Taylor at Arcus Studios

Composers: Rich Huxley and James Hamilton

Actors: Rebecca Jenkins and William Fox

Original actors: Ben Burmann, Daniel McCann, Wesley Thomas and Rob Ward.