One night, during an abundance of lemon gin, suddenly, everyone became our own countries stereotypes. Is seeing someone like discovering you have an adjustable lens? and it’s how you focus that lens, and on what, and why, that is interesting? As I watched the French being more French, the Italian being more Italian, the English being more English etc etc, I swung my gaze upon myself. I must seem the most Scottish I’ve ever seemed. But what is that? I thought. I’ve never felt Scottish, or Brittish, or one thing. It’s nuanced, I thought. Very nuanced. It all is…It’s also maybe about that lens, and why it’s even there…

Tehani and frame.
Original testing of ideas for walkabout piece –

We finally have the full cast to work with. As a quartet, I’m hopeful that, through proper play times, we can help crystalise some gems of the piece.

As someone who works solo mainly out of necessity rather than preference, I often crave working in groups and creating, playing and learning as part of an ensemble or creative team. I have found working with the other performers an artists on the piece really fun.

Taking some ideas for a walk with Ana.
Make-shift duo exploring ideas for guide characters originally explored with Tehani and Arun, originally conceived as “SENSE & US”
Zephyr and Florent bringing a mobile to life
Ana and Fabrice painting myth objects. Ana focused a lot on the idea of storytelling as informing identity and explored creation myths which now feature in the performance.

Today, we tried to put into action a certain part of the journey we shall be leading the audience through, which has manifested as a sort of “initiation” into a “new community”. I’m paired with Jagath, a local performer/actor, fairly well known for his tv/film work in Sri Lanka. As we improvised, curious heads popped over the wall to watch, charmed, from the neighboring garden. Afterwards, we went inside for lunch as Jagath stayed and talked to the family who had spied our haphazard stumble through.

Bobbing in the sea, later that day, Jagath spoke of how talented Arun is as a director and writer. That evening, Arun spoke of Venuri as a sharp and to the point performer whom he was inspired by. He also talked admiringly of Tehani and how this would be their tenth show together.

Singing Sura Medura – collaboration with Dave House

Before I came back to Sri Lanka, I already had an idea to record a new piece of work inspired by natural vocal reverb heard in the many temples. I took this idea and proposed it to Dave as a potential collaboration for the opening number for the show. The idea was to take a vocal document of the reverb of the space by recording voice in the different rooms at Sura Medura and make a piece of work from it that could be used in the performance. We stuck to a simple approach and created something quite minimalist which we both were really happy with and felt worked really well in the show. You can have a listen to some of Dave’s work from the residency by following this link –

The talent is there and is truly a treasure to work with. After some much needed conversations about the overall vision for the piece, and some pulling up of invisible socks, it seems everyone has delved in a little more whole heartedly and we are slowly but surely making sense of things.

I’m excited to see how the characters develop and how discussions about the overall performance evolve. I’m looking forward to more conversations over Lion beer and lemon gin.

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