Innovative theatre maker, Roslyn Oades returned to HotHouse this week to continue her work with this year’s Studio Ensemble on the next stage of the creative development of At The Hip.
The play uses Roslyn’s headphone-verbatim and audio cued performance technique, and while challenging, ensemble members say they are enjoying working in this new way.
‘It’s not so much sounding spontaneous with the lines, but really listening for the tone of what is being said, rather than the words,’ says Matt Davidson.
Rather than reciting memorised lines, the actors wear headphones and speak along to a sequence of carefully edited audio interviews word-for-word. By confining the actors to the discipline of accompanying a recording with absolute precision (including every inflection, cough, stumble, breath and overlap), a curious, hyper-real performance style is established. (Ros Oades website.)
Ensemble members have taken on a reporter/actor role, conducting interviews with key figures and others in the region on the theme of ‘big dreams’ for the twin cities of Albury and Wodonga that are joined ‘at the hip’.
Roslyn says the group is making good progress with this next stage.
‘While I have worked with many community groups, this is the first time I have worked with a non-professional theatre group, and I have to say I am very impressed with their discipline, and am treating them as I would any professional cast and they are rising to the challenge,’ she said.
HotHouse Artistic Director and Director of At The Hip, Lyn Wallis, said most of the group had little or no experience in interview techniques before they embarked on the project.
ABC Goulburn Murray Chief of Staff and Presenter, Gaye Pattison trained the group in interviewing, and cast members and HotHouse staff assisted with the logging of interviews. The audio script is being developed from these, and will
will continue to evolve over the next six weeks.
Lyn says HotHouse is very excited to be working with Roslyn on the project.
Roslyn also created I’m Your Man that played at the Butter Factory Theatre in 2013. Using the headphone-verbatim technique, the actors channelled the words of real-life boxing legends, transporting the audience into the boxer’s world of sweaty gyms and back-stage dressing rooms.
At the Hip opens on Tuesday 3 November for a three-week season.
Image: (l-r) HotHouse technical trainee, Rhys Llewleyn with Roslyn Oades and Studio Ensemble members, Clancy Hauser and Matt Davidson.
Image credit: Lyn Wallis