February 2, 2012
A trip to Stratford before we go to India to show Iqbal and Kieran, the lighting designer, around The Courtyard. It is the first time they have seen the space, which to me is a much loved friend. Strange to find it sitting there waiting.
The seating is in the format last used for Matilda, and it is too expensive to return it to the previous format, so at the moment there are no vom walkways on the diagonals off the downstage edge of the stage.
We discuss if we can lose some seats in the front and hopefully off to the sides to allow the stage, whatever it is going to be, to step down and engage with the audience.
It feels that we will need a porous space where the actors can sit with the onlookers and share the eavesdropping. How about long sweeping entrances? Dogberry on a bike careering into the audience down a slope and coming to a halt as he tries to get back up the steps of the centre aisle.
Talk with Iqbal about how we can get all the audience on all levels to feel like they are part of the world, linking ladders, people on bicycles zooming around the circle. Can we turn the whole foyer into an evocation of India, sell food etc create the smells. The whole space should be our world, earth, stone, and plywood concrete. A tree or abstract tree of a forest of cables, the new technologies piling onto the old of India?
by Tom Piper
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