Artist’s Diary – THE BLUE TITS

ENTRY #4 – Friday 24 January 2014

Today was our last day rehearsing at Matthew’s Yard, and it is crazy how time has flown by!

The Blue Tits - day 5

We’ve been playing around with music from different girl bands and mixing stand-up with catchy pop tunes. Kate (girl least likely) surprised us all by busting out a well rehearsed dance routine to Girls Aloud. Perhaps it’s the week taking it’s toll…

The Blue Tits - day 5

We’ve been talking a lot about feminism throughout the week and these conversations leak seamlessly into the actual material, which hopefully brings about a natural and honest feel to the show. We’ve still got a way to go before the first work in progress, but by the end of this afternoon we have a good meaty part of our show done. To throw a Blue Tits pun in there (c’mon this is our first one this week) we don’t feel like we’re winging it….

The Blue Tits - day 5                 The Blue Tits - day 5            The Blue Tits - day 5

We will be rehearsing a little bit more over the next couple of weeks, with Kate and Hannah doing a bit of writing too. Our other Blue Tits Rachel and Ellie will also fly in (sorry) and give some creative support – they’ve been watching videos throughout the week so know what we’ve been up to.

The Blue Tits - day 5

We ended the week on a high at the pub with Chris and Sheena, a few well earned pints to end a challenging, exhausting, sometimes frustrating and often hilarious week. A great start to 2014 for The Blue Tits!

 

ENTRY #3 – Thursday 23 January 2014

The Blue Tits - day 4

Today I feel like The Blue Tits have come full circle. I remember back in March when me and Hannah first started creating work we focused on stand up. After a mad afternoon visualising a set covered in candy and clouds we stripped everything down (not literally…) and were simply four women, on stage, in front of mics. This week we have left behind some of the new ideas, which I’m sure we’ll come back to when the time is right, in favour of keepin’ it real. We spent the morning working with Sheena who encouraged us to experiment with rawness and vulnerability, leading to material that we all really like. Chris and Sheena have spoken a lot with us about simplicity, which has clicked into place with us today. Now the four of us have got our heads around our ideas and the intensity of the week I found myself feeling a lot more open and willing to take risks whilst working with Sheena this morning, which was great. This week has been such a learning curve already and I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow throws at us!

Kate x

The Blue Tits - day 4

The Blue Tits - day 4

The Blue Tits - day 4         The Blue Tits - day 4

ENTRY #2 – Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Blue Tits - day 3

We were lucky to have Sheena and Chris come in this morning who brought with them some brilliant exercises for us to try out. We began by simply competing for the single microphone on stage to tell jokes. We agreed that the style seemed far too similar to the testosterone filled ego exploding gameshows that we all know too well. However, the exercise did birth some fantastic new material that we are looking forward to using and further experimenting with later in the week, particularly exploring the use of made up statistics andwhat comedy may lie in that.

The Blue Tits - day 3

We next tested our dynamic with all performers on stage behind four separate microphones. This simple look proved to be an automatically engaging image which we hope to play with more whilst making sure the simplicity of the idea remains. We also played with the comedy that can arise from facts and truths as opposed to staged jokes. We again found a lot of comic potential in this so we owe a big thanks to Sheena and Chris for giving us some exciting new ideas! We spent therest of the afternoon exploring some new ideas using the four-woman dynamic and working on a piece of stand-up that we hope to derive a lot of physical comedy out of. Overall, I think we had a very productive day and I can’t wait to get started again tomorrow!

Alice x

The Blue Tits - day 3

Today we didn’t discuss what we could do, what we should do, or what we might inadvertently be doing doing if we did…that. With the guidance from Chris and Sheena we found the clarity that we had been lacking through active trial and error. I found that as we worked through various exercises our ideas naturally found their way onto the stage. Life was given to characters and dynamics that had previously been a brief thought or scribble on a piece of paper. Today felt like the first part of the construction of the piece, as we were forced to replace concepts with rules, discussion with dialogue. Having Julian in the rehearsal room meant new ways of working were introduced, getting us to reflect on the work from a different angle. It’s exciting having such an intense week ahead of us – I can’t wait to see what the show looks like at the end of the week.

Emily x

The Blue Tits - day 3      The Blue Tits - day 3      The Blue Tits - day 3

 

ENTRY #1 – Tuesday 21 January 2014

The Blue Tits - day 2

It was a day of questions for which we are still looking for the answers and leaving some to linger in the air. Our mentor, Julian Maynard Smith, interrogated the piece with a series of questions, how, what and most importantly why? He encouraged us to focus on one element that would allow the piece to develop. Anxious to answer the ‘why’ we talked at length about motives and agendas which led us to characters and traditional narratives.We began to follow a theatrical route, creating scenes that were looking to provide a shaky answer to Julian’s questions.

The Blue Tits - day 2     Julian Maynard Smith     The Blue Tits - day 2

I felt we had to produce solid responses however the most useful material came out of repetition and prolonged experiments. Throughout both days we moved slowly toward a starting point, and Julian suggested various modes of reaching this. As we worked through poems, personas and punchlines, Julian gradually began to pull us away from presenting to playing. The most useful move was from what to why. Instead of representing ideas we slowly began to embody them.

Emily x

The Blue Tits and mentor Julian Maynard Smith

The Blue Tits and mentor Julian Maynard Smith

Julian Maynard Smith

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