So here we are in a surprisingly sunny Pembrokeshire, rehearsing the Crab Cannery Ship to take to Bruford this week for their annual symposium. As we are here rehearsing, I’m reminded off all the amazing spaces and places we’ve been to with our work, and the importance of solitutude and isolation and the value it can have on changing our perceptions within rehearsals.
As most bones will tell you, or many that have visited us with our work, there is a sacred element attached to wherever we seek spaces to work in. How does it feel, where is it, how is the floor and the acoustics of the room. There are many elements that factor in a suitable space, and one of the strongest is how far it is from the busyness of a world that is not condusive to a theatre environment. With Bred In the Bone, we are always committed to making sure our residencies and our spaces are somewhere that we have an attachment to. And who knows why that really is. We know there is a magic in the Grotowski institute. Is it because we know theatre history was made here? Or is it because of the complete isolation the room offers, allowing us to not know the time or place really of where we are, allowing us to be nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
This is my second visit to the centre we work in, in Wales. I am drawn to everything about it. Its complete functionality and purpose, without the airs and graces of image or comfort. The furniture carved from wood. The dedication to sustainability, and communal sleeping spaces, and the room that we work in, that we must as often as we can, leave the windows open for the birds to fly in and out. Surrendering us to nature at all times. There is a certain magic in a place like this, no phone signal and waking up to the sound of cows mooing, and the resident cat choosing its companion for a nights sleep. The isolation is provides reminds me of a purer life, a life I don’t always have access to now, but one that allows me to feel closer to my art. It is hard in the world we live now to feel these connections, to feel a connection to the soil and the ground around you, and for your ears to be witness only to the living.
This purity I think ultimately then translates into our rehearsals, it becomes easier to not allow the complexities that attack us in our pedestrian lives to lay dormant for a while, in those weeks, allowing us as people to engage with our environment and our work. We have to accept our anonymity in our work. Whatever we think we are in the streets we walk in the day to day is irrelevant in our space. We accept ourselves as human beings. Not just as artists. We are not more creative than life itself.