We’ve all arrived in London now, and have more or less gotten over our respective jet lags. We spent Friday and Saturday last week getting ourselves organised, reading over our past history with this project and getting up to scratch with the science and the language of the show all over again. It’s amazing how much more accessible it all feels now that we’ve had 2 years with these concepts and terms and a shared working history with a great group.
We had an incredibly valuable meeting with Tassos Stevens on Friday morning where we all checked in and voiced a couple of observations about where we’re at and the process ahead. It was an excellent way to begin, but also to gauge how each person in the group is feeling about getting this heavily researched thing we’ve made performance ready in 8 weeks (Eeep). It turns out that we’re all a bit nervous and feel like we can see a lot of work ahead.
Coming back to Best Festival Ever at this point is a little daunting. Not because of the work that is ahead of us, I’m confident we can cover that, but because of the intricacy that making anything based around systems thinking brings with it. While we have a festival system that we’ve drafted to make the work we still want to make sure it is calibrated to its full potential, and that it is accurately representing the fictional environment and event/festival we’ve come up with. If in our refining process if we want to change any part of the system we then need to spend an hour discussing all the interconnected changes that would occur in the system as a result. It’s a long process but the fact that that is taking us that long is actually a positive thing. If it’s taking us time to work out these connections then the system is working. Part of our aim is to iron out as many of the bits of the system that aren’t interconnected at all as possible.
There are three elements to BFE as we see it at this point: The science/performance lecture, story, and games/mechanisms. If any one of these is dominating the performance too much then it is not going to be what we are all hoping for.
As a result the process at this point feels a little like being able to see the huge but very delicate iceburg in front of you and knowing that you have to carve it into a beautiful ice sculpture but being nervous about how to do this without it all shattering. It’s not quite as fragile as that, but it still will take a careful and considered approach.
Are we able to find a balance in combining the elements of this show that compliment one another to make a cohesive whole?