In February this year we were fortunate enough to be supported by the Summerhall Lab to develop Closed Doors in the Old Lab at the Edinburgh venue.
We have been developing the piece since we first performed a fifteen minute Scratch performance at Flint and Pitch at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in May 2017. Working with musicians in creating a narrative was a unique new process for me. With none of us as performers being appropriate to “play” the principal characters it was clear from the outset that this would be a storytelling piece rather than a dialogue based play. We spent hours researching, talking about the characters, how to develop the plot; the root of the story being this sense that fundamentally we are all just people no matter where we’re from or which languages we speak. Thinking about the narrative in terms of musical sections was both a challenge and a liberating experience for me as a writer and performer. Approaching the structure in chunks with music and rhythms determining the substance and tone of each section was an exciting new way of pushing the story forward.
As the story developed so did the music. We had always been clear that we wouldn’t be trying to emulate music from cultures that we are not part of, so it was a sense of the sound for the whole story we were developing. The live instruments we work with are drums, piano and vocals, giving the piece a distinct rhythmical and melodic style.
Through the support of the Summerhall Lab programme we were able to bring on board designer Kim Campbell to create the visual element to the show. This development period represented a huge leap forward for the project, reinforcing its identity musically, rhythmically, textually and visually.
Now in rehearsal to bring the show to Camden for Sprint festival we are excited to see what London audiences think of the show!