Written by Alice Lamb, Performer in WULF.
We’ve just completed the first week of R&D for ‘Wulf’ with the full cast and most of the creative team. The week has been about creating a loose framework of material for the entirety of the piece ready for us to develop and flesh out at our next R&D in three weeks’ time.
Prior to the start of these rehearsals writer Rowan and director Maisie created a structure for the narrative in the form of 8 chapters, which we have been working our way through all week. As a full team we have been discussing what we need to get across in each chapter and then heading back to our ports of expertise to develop the sound, text and movement. All these different aspects began to entwine as we worked, Rowan (also our composer) feeding in sounds, influencing how we moved and working out how we used the movement to support the beautiful text Rowan and Celine (our dramaturg) had been developing.
I and my three fellow female performers have spent the week generating lots of movement material with Maisie. We’ve done this by taking key words from our conversations about each chapter such as ‘periphery’ and ‘community’ and exploring them physically, sometimes as a group and sometimes individually, whilst Maisie plucked out the juicy bits from our creations to build the sequence for each chapter. We’ve been playing with how the environment of the marsh lands affects our physicality, as well as finding a juxtaposition between grotesque, animalistic movement and more human ways of moving.
Working our way through the poems narrative has been like wondering through the dense landscape of the Somerset levels, because of its ambiguous nature. We still have a lot of unanswered questions about these women and the journey of the piece which I look forward to discovering. It’s been lots fun learning bits of Anglo Saxon and playing around with such a fantastic ensemble of women to create this other world. I’ve loved the moments in rehearsal this week when the movement, text and sounds have all come together, giving me the feeling that we’re on to something really exciting.