The Creation of NATURAL ORDER - Support Artist Lucy Watson
How on earth do you fit eighteen months of work with over fifty contributors into a live event only around an hour long?
So much work has been created, and only a tiny percentage of it can fit in the live show. A lot of hard decisions have to be made about what is essential to the work and what is not. Every workshop has had some element of this refining process, but of course the last months and weeks of finalising and rehearsing are a whole new level of finding what the piece is - what serves it best, and what needs to be set aside, maybe to find expression in a future work.
Milk Crate Theatre does drop-in classes that are open to whoever comes by. So not only are there the efforts of a fairly regular group of participants, there is also the impact of people who came for one or two sessions, and contributed an idea, a piece of writing, a presence or an image or a story. And I know it sounds weird, but I swear all of that energy is in there somewhere.
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with a lot of the workshops that have gone into the making of Natural Order, first as support artist, assisting with running workshops, helping and making work with and alongside participants. Now I'm performing in the work and I know that the character I’ve created is heavily influenced by all people, discussions and creations from previous workshops. I see that in other performers too. Every so often there’s a particular attitude and inflection in a performer’s voice that to me connects to a concept we talked about a year ago. Because we’ve all been listening and absorbing, it’s in our bodies now.
When we reach into ourselves for an instinct about how to say a line as our characters - we are drawing from a very rich pool of reference points and examples and stories, from a lot of people. And it's the same with other elements of the show - when a particular image just feels right, it’s often because it resonates with a feeling or idea that has been popping up repeatedly, so we know instinctively it’s part of the work.
So as we approach this final week of preparation, there’s a lot to be done as always, and we all want to work hard on these final steps to do justice to the work that came before it. But that’s balanced with a strong sense of trust that the work has an energy of its own, and that will come through. I’m so excited that it’ll soon have an audience - that last element that comes together to make a show, and which makes each run of the show unique.