16th APRIL DEVISING WORKSHOP _ WORDS
We started the workshop with the following ideas of what we knew, what we needed where our heroes walk through the first Threshold on their journey.
WHAT WE KNOW OF THE ORDINARY WORLD
Time and Location of our story: Today 2019 Toad Rock, Denny Bottom, Rusthall; possibly also Bulls Hollow or Paisley Street.
Back Story of the area
The area was once the bottom of a freshwater Lake.
The area around Toad Rock was once a prehistoric ritual site. There has been a cluster of finds belonging to Mesolothic people who lived 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. Springs and water were venerated at that time; there is a stone circle directly behind Toad Rock. Nigel thinks man may well have helped formed The Toad, as it is so different from any other natural rock formations. There is what Nigel calls a
uterine canal (birthing passage to life) cut through the rock.
There are two unique erosion lines worn by feet - one line is deep cut by hobnails Victorian and contemporary footwear, the other outer line by soft leather or bare feet Medieval The tracks go right round and through the passage - through the narrow end and out through the wider. It does suggest a ritual walking through. The graffiti on the walls has many layers, the lower layers now lost by the contemporary carvings. The oldest that can still be seen are possibly Medieval. Rusthall was originally called Hungershall. Medieval quarrying took place around Toad Rock; it involved splitting stones for stone circles etc. There is no clear evidence of Victorian quarrying. Bull’s Hollow possibly
In VICTORIAN 1900 the barrow existed on maps. The stone circle may well have been a barrow not necessarily for people but certainly they covered the stones.
THE ARCHETYPES WE HAVE MET OR LIKELY TO MEET
1. THE HEROES/ SEEKERS
Archie (R. H. C): Graffiti boy
Matilda: schoolgirl climate change campaigner
Mr Woodcock: Commoner
Sophia: Woman Elder
NOTE: The HERO represents the ego - the part that separates from the mother, considers itself distinct from the rest of humanity. A HERO is one who is able to transcend the bounds and illusions of the ego. But first they are SEEKERS and are all ego. They are searching for identity and wholeness - to become a complete integrated human being.
Descriptions of where the Heroes are- I’ve taken some license in the relationships between them. This can change or develop.
MATILDA is leading a local campaign to protest government inaction on climate change. They are expressing anger, fear and disappointment that adults have not acted. Across the world schoolchildren have taken part in 24 hours of climate action. 1 million students are said to have skipped school in more than 2,000 protests across 125 countries The student movement has been inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, now nominated for a Nobel Prize. She kicked off a global movement after she sat outside Swedish parliament every Friday beginning last August. There is lots of evidence that Climate Change is not only happening but we have only eleven years left to reverse it making it possibly the most urgent crisis the world has yet faced.
MATILDA WANTS the world to come together as a people of the blue planet and save themselves.
MEANWHILE Brexit is taking everyone’s energies and resources while the planet is out of kilter moving fast to the cliffs edge. Everything is in fighting, division and separation. The children aren’t being heard, people continue their lives paying no accounts to the dangers; there are millions of climate change deniers many among our leaders. The urgent policies that politicians need to make are not vote winners so they do nothing.
SOPHIA is a widow and a Village elder. She has a special project; she is chair of the Protect the Rocks Committee, a group of volunteers whose mission is to keep the rocks clear of litter, and brambles to encourage indigenous fauna and wild life.
SOPHIA WANTS and strives for Harmony, which is why she lives on Harmony Street.
MEANWHILE the country and the community are divided about their relationship with their neighbours Britain is fighting wars of words with Europe and local people are more and more living separate lives. There are young people within our tribe drinking on the rocks, breaking bottles, making noise late into the night and spray-painting graffiti.
ARCHIE (“GRAFFITI BOY”) is an orphan, he is angry at the world in general. He doesn’t know what to do with anger,
ARCHIE WANTS his parents back. No one understands. He needs to be heard, but doesn’t have the words. Words are useless.
MEANWHILE He recently found a box of spray paints in his dead grandfather’s shed - he’s making his mark with them. He’s making them on the rocks that his Grandma loves so much. He knows it’s working, he hears the grown ups talking angrily about “Graffiti Boy’ it makes him feel proud like he’s a super hero. No-one knows he’s graffiti boy.
MR WOODCOCK has lived a long time. He is the archetypical Grumpy old man. He lives frugally. He lives off the common. He gathers wood and knows all the edible plants. He keeps himself to himself mostly. He’s against everything. He’s against people, cars, politicians, kids. Outsiders, change, graffiti, loud music, dog shit, cats, The Protect the Rocks Committee, electric street lights.
MR WOODCOCK WANTS to be left alone.
MEANWHILE: There’s the people, cars, politicians, kids. Outsiders, change, graffiti, loud music, dog shit, cats, The Protect the Rocks Committee, and electric street lights
SOME OF THE QUESTIONS WE WANTED TO KNOW TO MOVE US FROM MEETING THE HEROES TO CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.
How do the audience meet our heroes?
What do the audience need to know about them at this point?
How do we let the audience know what they need to know?
What are the Heroes flaws?
How do we put the Heroes in the right place at the right to to cross the threshold?
Who are we likely to meet on their way to and at the threshold??
Is SOPHIA our MENTOR and MATILDA our HERALD?
What is the first?
Is there a Guardian of the Threshold and is s/he an ally an enemy?
Is their any resistance from the Heroes to cross the threshold?
Who resists and how/ why do they go through?
WHAT WE DID IN THE WORKSHOP
The notes from this workshop will be translated into a draft scene. Below are pictures drawn by Scott of the improvised scene. Matilda writing on protest boards; Archie preparing to spray graffiti on the rocks; Matilda, Mr Woodcock and Sophia confront the Guardian.