Director’s Notes – How to Lose Sight
The idea for this project started many years ago when I was working at a restaurant as a close-up magician. There I met a woman who told me her story of how she lost her sight at the age of 18. In 2006-2007 with the assistance of Vision Australia, I conducted a series of interviews with many vision impaired individuals which has inspired and informed a trilogy of works around the theme of blindness. The first show ‘Blind, as you see it’ has toured to several venues and festivals since 2007. ’How to lose sight’ follows similar visual and sonic language, like that of an opera; with musical themes, as well as visual themes interlinked across the trilogy as well as within itself.
Created on site within an intensive four week period, How to lose sight was developed with the performers. Starting with a five page conceptual script, I lead the performers in a series of imagination exercises to encourage them to access more subconscious thoughts which reveal ideas and images that I find interesting.
This piece was created within an actual house (as opposed to a traditional performance venue) not only to heighten intimacy of the characters and their stories, but also to compare real life language with a theatrical language and to examine what happens when the two languages merge. This idea stems from my core fascination with language and human behaviour, and the simple fact that everything we know and understand as “theatre” and “life,” is simply a construct. Constructs can be changed, both can help and inform each other and both should and do change one another.
Similarly, I want audiences to be changed by my shows.
Every time I make a new work, I do it not knowing if what I want to achieve is possible. For if it would be possible or if I knew it was possible, what would be the reason for doing it? It wouldn’t be an investigation. What I am playing with, in each room, is marriage of many different (clashing) ideas, different merges of styles of performances or different theoretical ideas. Some may be confusing, some more engaging than others, but they all are trying to find a different way of telling a story. All three rooms have completely different core languages, such as dance, naturalism and installation, but also share common visual language.
I love theatre because it examines everything that we are, how we tick, work, think, behave, but most importantly how we could be. Performance is the last remaining communal ritual in our society, and for that reason, it is one of the most precious things in our culture.