So here’s some of the reviews and tweets from this weekend’s premier of the current version of A Conversation With My Father. Sampled was ace, and I was performing amongst some pretty humblingly awesome company; I particularly loved see Laura Mugridge and Tom Adam’s Watery Journey… after it’s Performance in the Pub work in progress sharing, and also loved Molly Naylor’s My Robot Heart with music from the Middle Ones (totally in mind for a future PitP), Andy Field’s fizzling writing about the city in Zilla!, and Chris Thorpe doing his astonishing and gripping thing with There Has Possibly Been an Incident. Gutted to miss Melanie Wilson, Curious Directive, and Ross Sutherland due to having to do my own show. But on that – I was incredibly pleasantly surprised, and learnt a lot. Ridiculously low on time right now (hence no linking up the above, you can google, right?), but here’s some of the stuff I learnt/found interesting about performing ACW:
- goodness me audiences are different
- either that or I need to get more consistent in performance
- apparently I can remember words, which is good.
- sometimes the sort-of-funny things I write turn out to be VERY funny, and I need to structure the performance to balance that
- This is an important story, that appears to be reasonably approachable
- It makes people cry.
- I don’t like making people cry. I want to find a way of (metaphorically) telling people ‘it’ll all be ok’ afterwards, but don’t think it will unless I also make people want to Do Something
- I don’t think it’s up to me to tell people what that Something is.
- people are really interested in all of the stuff I pack for a protest, and want it explaining. No one ever works out that the number for GBC LEGAL that I write on my arm (with the label) is for a lawyer, and why you do that.
- I think there’s something in comparing the ritual of readying for protest for both protestor and police office
- the sound recording I have of me and my dad is not very good at higher volumes. This is rubbish and I need to get someone who knows more than me to fix it.
- I think I’ve found a ‘TED’ version of this story – performance lecture, but would like to explore how it possibly becomes more performance, or maybe more story.
As for the future of it, I’m hoping to get a producer or director on board somehow, and spend a week on it in a rehearsal room somewhen and somehow to work it up into a 50-60 minute solo show. And I might even have some photos to show you soon.
In the meantime I’ll leave you with some some self-congratulatory highlighting of positive reviews/tweets:
“Nicklin is a thoughtful and engaging performer, and she shares experiences of protesting, and discussing protests, with her retired-policeman father. […] For such a simple concept, the piece is surprisingly moving. Nicklin merges the personal and the political with consummate skill; here the political is personal. The relationship that Nicklin has with her father-the-police-officer and with her Daddy becomes a microcosm through which much bigger ideas can be examined – ideas about fairness, about politics, about family, about genetics and inheritance. The piece is never preachy but is always engaging. Nicklin makes her points almost gently, but they strike home and make the audience consider the bigger picture. It is a piece that works as it is but has room for more, and it lingers in the mind.” – Eleanor Turney, A Younger Theatre Sampled Review
“Just came out of Hannah Nicklin’s piece. For first thing in the morning this was a rather touching piece. I’m not sure I could actually sum up what I’m feeling right now from it. It brought a tear to my eye, but I don’t mean this dramatically. It’s a simple story, one about the relationship between Nicklin and her father. It’s a piece that questions her role as a protester, and her father’s role on the other side of the enforced line as a policeman. It’s informative; Nicklin describes how a kettle works, what happens inside and her own experiences. It’s also about Nicklin as a performer, and her questioning whether if it is better to be a politician striving to change small policies or if it is better to be an artist telling stories to people. For a work-in-progress piece this is really developed, it’s a piece that tugs away at you. Nicklin’s honesty shines through the piece, which is perhaps why I enjoyed it so much.” – Jake Orr on the A Younger Theatre live blog