Building a touring kit

Eliot BulsenWe had the strange pleasure last week of having a whole week between our presentation of Best Festival Ever as a scratch performance and the beginning of our shows for the London Science Museum. We spent the week assessing and amending the script for clarity, consistency and to make the science lecture sections of the show a bit more palatable and fun. Attempting to make the transitions between our games, story and science a bit smoother and neater. We have come to terms with the fact that the show is a little longer than we had expected. We are cramming quite a lot of information into it after all and while it is a show dense with science, examples, flowcharts, game rules and play it seems that giving a little more time suits it more than cutting it down. We then spent time working on our props and touring kit, getting all the pieces ready for our show, but also making sure we can safely move this thing about without a lot of repair work to our props having to happen on the road. To do this we took the show out to perform  design students in north London. This was a really interesting experience. Firstly to perform in a different venue from BAC, then to see how we would go setting up and packing down the kit and how long it would take us to do this. It was also an excellent way to see how the show looked and went in a space unlit by stage lights (with fluorescent lights and such) and unused to such a performance. Performance wise it was an excellent experience in what it might be like to present this show in a non theatrical environment – in one where interest in the show is not the reason they are there, and how we can move the show in its performance to meet these audiences. Because of its presentational nature the show runs along pretty well on its own, but it is also open enough in its engagements to encourage interaction for the games and also hopefully in interacting with us as performers. One of the things we have always wanted from this work was to be able to make it flexible and widely appealing not only as a touring work but also in terms of the range of audiences and environments we can go into. As our first foray into taking the show on the road I think it went pretty well. A few realisations and things to change but it is nice to realise them now and hopefully strengthen the show. We have a few of these engagements coming up and I’m really interested to see how they all go.

The show is now almost road worthy so our next phase is about to begin – the final final touches are happening tomorrow and Tuesday morning ready for our first public show on Tuesday night! Super exciting.

My question is what are the things to be aware in taking the show into different environments in performance, environment and travelling.

– Nikki

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