From This 8So the last couple days I took part in a two-day workshop and then a development performance of a show called From This. From This is the new show by Chenoeh Miller, artistic director of Little Dove theatre art, and the ‘cast’ for this first version were myself and a very talented performer named Erica. I never caught Erica’s last name, in fact in the two days we worked together we weren’t allowed to talk to, make eye contact with or overtly acknowledge each other.

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For me it was a steep step into the Contemporary Movement/Buto end of the theatre world and it pushed me well out of my comfort zone. I have a good grounding in a lot of physical pursuits but this went to some very specific areas and forced me to think in different ways about the use of my body.

The show was about human connection, the barriers we throw up in the way of it and the potential to traverse those barriers. The non-relationship that Erica and I developed then played out to an audience who were then invited to intercede. It was one of those shows that relied heavily on the audience and we had a terrific one. There were lots of warm, confronting, fun and properly human moments between myself and the crowd. All the while Erica and I were aware of each other but unable to interact. It was a very unusual feeling and a big relief when we finally got to ‘meet’ each other after the show.

From This 10You’d have to ask Chenoeh why she asked me to do it but for me it’s been an interesting companion experience with Bomb Collar, another recent project that’s pushed me to the limits as a performer.

Oh, and the show involved me doing 600 squats. I’m a little sore today.From This 5Photos by Martin OllmanFrom This 11

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