Playwriting Aus Malthouse day 3 Oct 2017

Eva Sifis


Today started with tales from last night’s adventure. Quite literally, taking Jon (codirector of Ridiculusmous Theatre UK), a good friend Brigid and I to the premiere of ‘Jeremy the Dud’ (the pilot in which I play a heavily rouged and melodramatic mum) in a place none of us had been before, Waurn Ponds.
The movie was, as expected, a ride in to the reality surrounding those disabled by our society. Disabled by the ‘outside gaze’, the patronising attitudes, the inaccessible environment and nonexistent employment opportunities. To this end, the series taster is not, as the preview clip promised, out and out funny (as astutely observed by Jon), more uncomfortable as the life depicted hits close to home. So close, it leaves one realising their part in this very real situation cloaking 20% of society in some way.
Our train journey to this distant suburb, on the fringes of Geelong, brought close encounters of the outer suburbia kind. I am speaking for each of us when I describe our bruising of an etheric sort.

I limped to rehearsal on this sun-shiney day, to hear one of the first offerings of an informative sort by our co-director David Woods. An introduction to something called the Vomitorium – entrances or passages in Ancient Roman theatres or amphitheatres. Purportedly a much misconceived place next to feasts where revellers could throw up to make room for more food; and it’s present use as a side stage place in productions.
Going on to ‘work our respective corners’ we continued blocking out each of our places and movements on stage in anticipation of our showing on the 10th at 2pm – get your free tickets here –…
This work in progress really is very funny, I do hope you will come to see! We aim for the audience to be edge-of-seat witnesses. Our choreography and figurative arrangements on stage promise a precursor of what will be a groundbreaking show where a perspective will be introduced that has only recently been tasted in wider society.
This is a view I hope to have given here on Facebook since I first became a contributor 10 years ago – what a disabled life is in reality.

Aware of the eternal small steps required towards our goal, we know that true integrative casting is completely possible, especially through our process of active imaginings. Characterisations are, after all, the essence of acting in which believability is transferred to the stage. What better place to become friends with the concept of disability? This is, after all, a reality that lies in wait for many of us. One is much better off getting rid of the fear now! This is a movement indicated by a well known theatrical producer recently going in to Arts Access Vic concerned about his work’s impact on wider society. He wanted advice from those who know it best and work with it every day.

Placed in front of us today was first a hefty script compilation and secondly a much pared down version. I am afraid to say this will be pared down even further to allow for a short viewing on the 10th.
So much gold! The condensing will be a difficult task but what is promised is best described as Meta-Style. This was explained to me today as – drawing attention to the show’s own mechanics. A raw and completely transparent working.

Quotes from today:
Jess is the self proclaimed ‘epiphachine’, eternally entering the space with empty promises alluding to vanished flashes of brilliance in her sleep.
Also Jess’s idea for a t-shirt “put that on Facebook”