March 15th, 2004

darwinesque

The Madness Show. (and, gawd, do I ache now!)

I still have a yellow face. I tried to clean most of it off last night, but didn't bother with all of it as I was in a hurry to get to the bar...so now I've woken up, clearly didn't clear the rest off when I got home somewhat squiffy...and I have a vague yellow tinge all over my forehead and around my eyes.

Y'see, we wore white thermal underwear, big black boots, and our face makeup was a yellow half-mask (down to tip of nose and cheek bones), a line of colour to highlight the cheekbones and smeared lipstick. I went for red on the cheeks and black smudged lips...had a little black eyeliner around my eyes for definition, and half my hair backcombed up in a high ponytail. Looked quite crazy...but then, we were supposed to be.

I'm posting here now an elaborated running order of The Madness Show:

Sequence One

Began with Nick sitting on his own at a bar table while the audience are coming in...he is talking to himself...different levels of loud and quiet, occasionally talking to audience members for a sentence or two, but then to just himself for 20 minutes...

We come in one at a time, also talking to ourselves (I was running through plans for getting to Whitby, and potential for lack of sleep), and move in amongst the audience. There is a note on the piano, we look up with our eyes only. A beat, and we continue talking to ourselves for a minute, our voices filling the space at different levels...

Another note on the piano, we look up again and move our bodies as well this time...lots of twisting into awkward positions for a better look. Another note, we move alongside an audience member and stand at their shoulder without looking down.

Another note, and we crouch/lean into the audience member and begin to whisper 'affirming whispers' into their ear...'you have the most fantastic eyes, they're really really bright blue...' etc. Another note, we stop, breath in and then all whisper at the same time: 'Do you ever hear voices inside your head?'.

Everyone goes silent, except for Ali, who whispers it again to an audience member, and echoes their response, asking it again all the time...

'Do you ever hear voices inside your head?'
'No'
'No, you never hear voices inside your head?'
'Sometimes'
'Sometimes. Sometimes you hear voices inside your head?'


And so on... I pick this up, picking on another audience member, and she fades out but continues rolling it round...then Andy, then another cast member...then Nick starts up talking to himself again, a note, we fade to walls...

Ursula and Elodie help Nick to the stage, moving him by the armpits and depositing him in a chair... They then fetch the large white parachute, put his head through the hole in the center, and spread the rest out all over the stage...

They leave. Shane enters with scissors.

Shane cuts all of Nicks lovely long curly hair off, flinging it joyously all over the parachute...The Bedlam painting by Hogarth (above) is shown on the projection screen behind, focusing in on sections of it intermittently. He finishes cutting his hair off, Amanda enters, running fingers through audience hair as she comes in...gets clippers, shaves Nicks head.

Shane returns with purple paint (de-louser)...paints Nicks newly shaved head and face purple...

Piano. Nick sings two proper verses of 'I feel Pretty' whilst standing on the chair and pulling in the white parachute like a dress...

We join in with 'I feel Shitty'...choreographed head turning to Nick and back...get to the stage in a massed group of different levels around the now baldy purple-headed pershwun...

Mark comes in with an MC link : Random Act of Kindness : Gives away a fiver to an audience member.

Most of the cast leave the stage and melt to the walls, leaving object box people (me, Ali, Nick and Amanda) on stage. I get the trolley full of random objects and run it up and down the stage like a mad baglady whilst they get Nick out of the parachute, then we run through discovering random things from regular objects.

When done, we leave and go to our pre-set groups around the walls...Andy enters with 'I remember...'...more speed talking, trying to remember stuff....launches into his first poem (I'm a didactic dichotomy), then goes back to trying to remember...can't. Mark steps in with 'I remember'...recounts something from his childhood, then Jack takes over with one of hers, followed by me (deliberately getting my sister stuck up a tree), followed by Elodie in french, followed by Shane, followed by the rest...

Then we move into 'Noise Music'...three groups around the walls with sequenced noises/patterns of speech...beginning with a drone, then mmmwhaaaaaammmm chords, more stuff leading to loud 'what are you looking at/are you looking at me' then working our way with maniacal laughter/home home/soft ahh's back to the drone...

There is blackout for this piece, so that the different sounds (each group has a different pattern of sound which only joins for the drone and the 'what are you looking at') can wash over the heads of the audience members...like voices in your head. We leave one group at a time.

End of sequence One.

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...............................

After which we all rushed upstairs whooping, scrubbed as best we could, and dived back to the bar for drinks...

We'll be meeting again Wednesday for notes and runthrough...then 11am Sunday for running through and working bits and the last show in the evening.

SO worn out now...I ache all over...think I'll have a tingly-hot bath before work tonight;)
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