Recently I have been thinking about creating a solo show. At first I was thinking about creating a show for someone else but now I have got to the stage where I am thinking I will create one for myself.
My natural comfort zone is definitely creating work for larger cast groups and therefore the concept of a solo show has always been in the back of my mind as the ultimate challenge.
I remember in Namibia I choreographed a short solo for a male dancer, so I know it is possible. This, however, will be far more personal.
The benefits of having a one-woman show are obvious. I can rehearse in my own front room without having to make lots of bookings and arrangements with studios and cast. I can be self-reliant. Once I have created the show, as long as I have childcare, I can perform whenever and wherever. Also the money side of making theatre makes a lot more sense if I am the sole cast member. Oh, the problems of trying to get budgets to work for larger casts and the stress of not always getting the funding. This way I will only ever have to deal with my own disappointment.
Let's face it, bringing up a child does not bring in a great salary and benefits package so I need to spend more time making budgets work.
I know that I need to spend some time watching solo shows especially those featuring female artists. There are two shows I am currently excited about watching; Bryony Kimmings new solo show at Battersea Arts Centre in October, I'm a phoenix, bitch (I must book!!) and Yvette, which is in London for the next couple of weeks at a few different venues. I think it is at Camden People's Theatre this week. Let me know if anyone also fancies going at some point?! If anyone can recommend any other solo female shows then I would love to hear them.
EDIT: Here is the link for Yvette at CPT.
Part of the reason I love working with groups is that after spending time taking care of my son all week I need to see and talk to other grown ups. And to be honest I would prefer if that chatter wasn't just about children. The great thing about Mr President is that the cast are such a great mix of people who are all so interesting with the things they have done and are doing. I love spending time with them all and just chatting.
I'm guessing making a solo show will mean more time alone, which I like too but I definitely need to balance it with other projects or just going out for a drink with other people.
So the idea of doing a solo show I had been mulling over in my head for quite some time but what happened this week made the idea become more serious. I began thinking about something that happened in my past and I even started doing a little research into it. Before too long not only had I found my subject matter but I had some music, ideas for projection, costume and a possible ending.
This is how it is with me. If I think too much, sometimes without even intending to, I end up with a show going round in my head and now I even have some images for an ending.
However, I am not in any rush. I am only going to do it if the right opportunity arises. If I get a residency somewhere, a performance to work towards and funding. Yeah right! Also the subject matter won't be easy and therefore the timing that I do this is really important.
Whilst I say I am not in a rush, sometimes I find that once you have the idea, the idea itself has an urgency almost like the idea will die if you let it fester for too long.
If I do get round to making some solo material you won't now be too surprised. I look forward to placing an invite into your calendars at some point in the next couple of years. Look out for it!