In the lead up to UTTER THANET's first sharing on Sept 24, 2pm at Roundabout Festival CLIVE HOLLAND of MISCHIEVOUS THEATRE talks about the idea behind this ambitious new project.
Mischievous Theatre's new project, Utter Thanet, is coming to the end of the first phase of a long journey that will end in a provocative, illuminating and uplifting piece of verbatim/from-real-life-testimony theatre. Utter Thanet is about you, about me, about all of us who live here on the Isle of Thanet; that sticky-out bit of land on the edge of Kent that juts in the restless channel and is home to an eclectic, and some might say, random group of people. Utter Thanet is about those people but it is also about people everywhere. It is about our responses to change, our attitudes towards the place we call home, it is about our feelings and thoughts about the people who we live cheek by jowl with; it is about community, society and the human condition.
Over the last few months we have spoken to almost 1000 people about living in Thanet. People of all ages, backgrounds and situations, trying to discover what makes Thanet tick... what do we love, hate and hope for. We are in the process of transcribing the hundreds of hours of recordings and slowly building up a picture of the place we call home. We have also delved into social media, the newspapers and have eavesdropped on conversations in pubs, cafes and on the streets to add to the eclectic mix of opinions. The next stage of the process, which we are at the beginning of, is to create a script. This script, based entirely on the words of the people of Thanet, will form the basis of a new and provocative piece of theatre that will be produced in 2018.
Of course, having a script isn’t the end of the process. In order to make a piece of theatre that lives, can stand on its own two feet in the twenty first century, can provoke thought and discussion, can intrigue, interest and entertain, can eventually uplift and hopefully, affect the way people think about the place they call home (whether that is Thanet or somewhere else in the UK), it has to be more than just words. What is the style of the play, will it have music, sound effects, a soundscape, what about the visuals; set and costume,colours and textures, will the play have video projection, lighting, special effects, will there be movement, dance, puppets, masks, will it be performed in a dedicated theatre or in community halls or will it be site specific or site generic, indoors or out, will it be on a stage, in the round, or a promenade production ... at the moment, all of these questions are just that; questions! In order to realise the full potential of Utter Thanet we will start with a script, we will experiment, try things out, we will put some ideas in front of an audience and see how they respond and eventually, with our superb team of creative people, we will create something that will do justice to the words that were so kindly gifted to us by almost 1000 people.
If you want to find out more about the project, follow the link below. If you want to have your say or contact Mischievous Theatre for some other reason, please e mail to; firstname.lastname@example.org