Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things reflect on their Creation Space R&D residency

| Mon 9 Nov 2015

Certain Dark Things recently joined us for an R&D residency in the Creation Space, working on their new show Melancholy. Using puppetry, physical theatre and animation, Melancholy tells the story of an inventor whose wife dies suddenly and his attempts to recreate her. We caught up with Artistic Director Sarah Morgan to hear how the piece developed during their time with us.

Which particular elements of the project did you focus on during your residency?

We spent most of our first week exploring puppetry - we looked at the relationships puppets can have with each other and with actors, how much emotion they can convey, and how we can use them to tell our story. During our second week we got down to the nitty gritty and focused on the dramaturgy of the play, piecing together the story and making sure we were finding a way to include all the elements we wanted and tie them all together.

Were there any surprises? Did you make any new discoveries about the project?

We realised just how complex the story we're trying to tell is. I think whenever you're working on a project that involves looking at human emotions and behaviour you're opening up a massive can of worms! We kept finding big questions to answer, and those answers sometimes led us in a very different direction from where we thought we might be going, but that's as exciting as it is terrifying.

Did you bring in any collaborators?

We had some lovely talented puppeteers with us for the first week of the residency to help us explore that side of the work, but for our second week Stephen (Co-Artistic Director) and myself just knuckled down by ourselves to try and answer the unanswerable. We had a lovely long chat about humanity and existence with the staff at artsdepot and they gave us a lot to think about, so I think they should get some credit as collaborators too!

Did this residency enable you to do anything that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do?

The residency gave us time and space to develop the production without any pressure of a performance or deadlines hanging over us. We had a chance to play with ideas, make new discoveries and really focus on what we wanted to do with the show. We loved working in such a creative space and it kept our imaginations going the whole time, which led to plenty of new discoveries.

What are your next steps for this project?

Now we have a really solid foundation to build upon, we'll be continuing to develop the show before taking it on a small tour in 2016.
What else are you working on at the moment?

We've got a couple of ideas brewing and we get inspiration from the strangest places, but at the moment our main focus is definitely on Melancholy.


Twitter: @CDTTheatreCo
Facebook: /certaindarkthingstheatrecompany


This residency was supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Read more about our Artist Residencies programme

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