Photo: The first in our series about Shadow Girl…

Hello and welcome to the first in a series of news updates which will shed some light – and maybe allow some-things to remain in the shadows (for now), on our rehearsals preparing for Chrissy and her acting company’s performance of Shadow Girl on the 4th August 2018 in Manchester City Centre.

We all enjoyed an incredibly varied and productive rehearsal at Gorse Hill Studios yesterday which began with a visit from our designer Nerissa for a costume fitting. Chrissy’s Shadow Girl has multiplied and is still expanding due to some of our friends at DIY Theatre and Bridges Company from The Octagon Theatre, Bolton becoming involved at this exciting time.

The morning was spent with movement director extraordinaire Susan, building on our movements in relation to our fellow performers; we explored statues, focused hand work and were introduced to the art of flocking – to name only a few. Toby and Phil in particular devised some ‘beautifully sensitive movement’ – described by Susan, which we cannot wait to share!

Chrissy was stolen from Susan’s rehearsal for a while to have a meeting about the superb Shadow Girl images created by illustrator Lizzie Finlay. During the meeting Chrissy made huge decisions about how Shadow Girl will be represented in the images which will accompany the performance in August. Chrissy later shared her decisions with the group explaining her choice of colours, characterisation and story – even managing to utilise her shadow to direct everybody to certain images, we just can’t get enough of our shadows!

To inspire our imaginations for Tom’s rehearsal, which began our exploration of a performer’s relationship to objects and their audience, we saw for the first time some images of the various locations in Manchester City Centre that we’ll be performing at. We recognised in these images everyday objects which can be found whilst out and about and delved into rehearsals studying ways to react to them impulsively and unpredictably. Throughout this we continued developing how this can be enhanced by the way we adopt the energy of a fellow performer causing that energy to grow and become hilariously funny – the real challenge is maintaining a straight face on stage with an audience doubled over laughing.

Having the costumes in the sewing room and following such an exciting meeting this morning plus all of the play and exploration during rehearsals, Chrissy is feeling positively… well, positive about our progress. Although… she’s not so positive about the fit of this particular costume!

Written by Imogen Barton Wells