The Bastard Child of Improvisation and Puppetry
Animo doesn't have a script.
None of the stories, none of the characters, none of the places exist before they are created on the stage. Even some of the performers don't exist until we make them.
Lee Simpson and myself have been working on stage, without a script for a long time now, but it was always human beings that did the improvising. We started improvising with a technician, so that the lights changed along with the action, taped music and sound effects would be played on the spur of the moment to enhance a tale. When we worked with Julian Crouch on "Improbable Tales" at the Nottingham Playhouse design became a more integral part of an improvised show. Soon with Julian we began to discover a world where inanimate objects told the stories, where puppets (for want of a better word) and masks could be created quickly, quickly enough for it to happen on-stage.
It is enormously satisfying to discover that a piece of foam rubber makes an excellent improviser.
Characters in Animo are sometimes played by an actor, sometimes by a piece of newspaper, sometimes by whatever happens to be lying around. The actors might be the set and the set might play the characters.
You have a part to play in the show. We are interested in the show you want to see. Interested to know the sorts of thing you would like to see on the stage and we may well ask you what it is. We may of course ask you what you would like to see and fins ourselves doing something else. Animo has a way of taking over and leading us to a place nobody thought of going. Often these are the best places. Julian calls this "chaos magic". But be reassured: No-one is going to drag you onto the stage, or pick on you. You are only complicit in the show in as much as you don't what is going to happen next...
...and neither do we.
Phelim McDermott 96
Phelim Mc Dermott
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