Certain Dark Things begin their Creation Space R&D Residency
| Mon 5 Oct 2015
As Certain Dark Things begin their Creation Space R&D residency, Artistic Director Sarah Morgan tells us about what the company will be working on during the next two weeks:
Can you tell us a bit about Certain Dark Things?
We are an emerging theatre company making work for adults that is dark and fantastical. We were formed in 2014 by myself and Stephen McCabe. I am an actress and puppeteer, and Stephen is an actor and director. I wanted to make work that was macabre and included puppetry, and Stephen wanted to make physical theatre that pushed boundaries and had social relevance, so that's what we try to do. We both love devising and wanted to start creating shows that combine all the styles of theatre we are interested in.
Our first show, The Girl Who Cannot Die, won the 'Best of the Fest' award at Brighton Fringe in 2015 before transferring to the Rose Theatre Kingston. We are now very excited to be developing our next project, Melancholy, which we will be touring in 2016.
For this project we are being joined by our associate artist Charlotte Mafham, who has performed in every CDT show to date, and two new collaborators, Jesssica Warshaw and Emma Rose Lowther, who are both actor/puppeteers.
Certain Dark Things are also an eco-friendly company, and we make sure that as many of our props, costumes and puppets are made from recycled or reused materials so we don't have a damaging effect on the planet.
How would you describe the work you create?
We create visually exciting productions with a dark twist. We like to use different styles of theatre including physical theatre, puppetry, clown, animation, live music and Commedia Dell'Arte to create work that push boundaries and offers audiences a fusion of different styles of performance. All of our work has a basis in fantasy rather than reality, but we still like to address topics that are socially relevant and important to us. We like to make bold choices and try new things, so everything we create is basically just a big experiment.
What will you be working on during your residency at artsdepot?
We're going to be working on a show called Melancholy which follows the story of an inventor whose wife dies suddenly, and he decides to put his knowledge to use and try to recreate her. We're going to be telling this story using physical theatre, puppetry and animation. It's a story that we've created as a company by taking a few influences from our favourite gothic literature but adding in our own twists to make it a very different story from anything our audiences have heard before.
Which elements of the project will you be developing while you’re here?
We're going to be spending a lot of time playing with puppets! We're really keen to explore the relationship that actors can have with puppet characters and try and push as many boundaries as we can and see where we end up. We'll be aiming to create really strong visual moments and a story that is interesting and valid to a modern audience. We always try to make work that is surprising and different and exciting to watch, so we'll be working to find ways of making what is ultimately a very sad story an enjoyable and entertaining piece of theatre.
What the most useful thing to have with you in the rehearsal room?
Music! Pretty much everything we do involves music from the initial idea, to developing characters, to just having a dance around to break out of brain fog! As our work is so physical, we spend a lot of time thinking about tempo and rhythm, so we're always experimenting with sound. This piece in particular has a really strong soundtrack, so we'll be working with the music constantly to create scenes and characters that fit the mood that the songs create.