Crow Journal 11

22 / 05 / 2023

Thoughts about crows, sightings, encounters, communication ... 
It’s been a while since I wrote on here, mostly because I have been focussing on writing the play draft. There is a completed draft there now which I want to record as an audio file and be able to listen to. I just need a little space of a few days from it to be able to actually read it as a text and not as something that I have written. There always has to be that time to get distance. Sometimes a lot of time is needed, sometimes not so much.

The experience of writing the play scripts draft has been interesting. It definitely cast a light on the way that I think about making performance and how this is actually different from the way that this might be approached by a playwright who is not also a theatre maker. I found myself very much thinking in terms of the staging and the look of the final performance rather than just writing a text that would then be handed over to a director. I guess in a further draft of the play, I would like to think more as a playwright and create a text that can be interpreted.


My experience of making theatre is that there needs to be a space for interpretation that it collaborative. I was talking to Chris about this on a long walk and the way that I was writing the play and he made me realise the truth of this.

Of course a play needs to be full, in the end, with all the gaps filled. All the decisions about everything on the stage need to be made consciously (or they will tell an unintentional story of their own), but this cannot be done fully in advance or the work will be ... choked off, somehow. To try and fully imagine a piece before making it would disallow the collaborative aspect that is vital. And all theatre is collaborative by nature. I don’t just mean the kind of theatre that is made by devising groups or collectives. It’s even the theatre that is made by one person. Or the theatre that is an adaptation of a text that’s been made one hundred (or ten thousand) times before.

This collaborative nature can be between makers, between makers and performers, between makers and lighting and sound designers, set designers, costume designers, composers. Technicians, dramaturgs, the artistic team at the theatre, test audiences, friends, audiences. The building the piece is shown in. Time and space. 

If I make a piece of performance, I want it to be bigger and stranger than my initial imagination for it. There has to be room for that.