Director Jane Allanach looks back over the past 12 months at what In the Moment have been getting up to since their beginning.
It's a year since In the Moment began and during the past year the group have enjoyed weekly sessions packed with creativity and making theatre. The first term was spent getting to know each other as a group - lots of games and team exercises, as well as learning new skills to do with manipulating the body and working physicaly as an ensemble.
By the end of our second term we had made a piece called Social Soil which we showed at York's Festival of Ideas about the group's vision for a new mental health hospital in York (following the closure of Bootham Park Hospital). The group devised the piece by working collaboratively over the course of several weeks, looking at personal stories of 'acts of kindness'.
Our third term was spent working with half masks in the run up to Christmas. This brought with it a whole new set of challenges for the group, who at first found the masks incredibly claustrophobic to work in. However, with perseverance and trust, the group developed the physical skills necessary to create a fabulous masked performance for Christmas - a parody of the perfect family Christmas.
Al and Marie work on their mask skills.
Finally, for the past term we have been work-shopping the group's own work. Each week one of the members brings a piece that they have created, or an idea that they have, and we find interesting ways to express it.
So far we have looked at tinnitus (including wacky and wonderful cures); a short play by Lorna called Big birds; a piece of music by Paul Wilson which in turn inspired a poem by Imi; another poem by Imi called Bridezilla; a poem by Paul Mountain which became the source for some improvised ensemble music, and a story by Lorna called Vanilla Slice which led to the sharing of many personal stories about learning to drive.
Paul Wilson's Composition.
Imi's poem inspired by Paul's music:
You expect it to be worse than it is.
Smiles can be sinister.
Are you a friend?
I don't like where this is going.
Are we singing?
What do you do when your mind rolls back?
Are you thinking or dreaming or sinking?
Are you in the moment or out of it?
Then the music slows
You realise how beautiful these things are
That we are so able to think them?
I don't know where this leads me
And I don't know if it matters.
It's anyone's game really.
It's all give and take
Giving and sieving and sewing.
You forge what you need and you long for the rest
It's all fairy thoughts and you just do your best.
A child's friend
Stitch and mend
Make it tight and make it right
Write. For gods sake write.
Write because your head will implode.
Or you'll scream out your lymphnodes.
You need to let it out
So do it this way
Let your mind breathe
And let it take it away.
Bridezilla by Imi
She treds on his shadow.
A picture in her hand like a declaration of war.
She sticks needles into the words like voodoo dolls.
Painted lips part: "Who is this please?"
He freezes behind his desk where all afternoon he has been silently slicing paper petals from a page.
Betrayed and hurt she prepares her spear.
Ready to launch the next question into his back like a javelin.
'He won't see this coming' - she thinks.
How dare he?
How could he?
Who was she?
So thin, so pale and with a love-struck grin?
Mascara streams into piano keys below her eyes as she says her reprise:
"Who is she?!!!"
The question's jagged edge rips the lining of her throat.
As she points to the picture.
As he blinks and turns to her.
The shards of interrogation embed into his cheek.
He sees her hair: snow colour. Unshaken by the onslaught.
Styled as always.
So stiff it'd crunch underfoot.
She clutches the snapshot of the other woman.
How dare he?
How could he?
Who was she?
So pale, so thin and with a love-struck grin?
Spitting out words like bees: trying to find the sweetness that once came from her tongue:
She can't stop now she's begun:
"Are you going to answer me David?"
She is ice against his eternal warmth
"I've told you love..."
No longer quite on boil, their love was a warm cup of tea.
Recently she was set on making slippers into swords at every opportunity.
He knows he can't win the duel so he silently turns back to his work.
Their friends think that she makes the cards still.
It's not lying if no one ever asks.
Life sent her tasteless cards
So she had no obligation to send pretty ones back.
He looks down at the scalpel he had been using with a fraction of the elegancy his wife once would.
Behind him her tears go to gulps, gulps to gasps and she slumps to the floor.
She lets out a piercing scream that echoes through the wounds the questions cut.
When he looks at her he sees his grandchildren as toddlers:
The way that they would cry themselves to exhaustion.
Before being lovingly carried to bed.
Guilt trickled through his mind like oil on a grill.
He leaves the paper clover three leaves in and ducks down beside her.
Drawing patterns between her shoulder blades as she takes a tissue from her sleeve.
He slowly frees the crumpled image from her fist.
Smooths it on the carpet before them:
He places a finger against the woman who's departure caused a heartbreak he'd never overcome.
The woman who only existed now in faded photographs.
Smiling beside him there on 6x8"
So pale, so thin and with a love struck grin.
That young and wild thing.
He looks to his aging wife.
"That was you love." He'd gently say.
"That was our wedding day."
The video below shows an interpretation of Imi's poem.
Paul Mountain's Poem
Vanilla Slice by Lorna.
Being Ourselves - portraits of each other done without looking at the paper, instead we looked into each others eyes, and then wrote positive things about our partner.
And finally, for now... Anna and Marie!