By Benjamin Mahns-Mardy (performer)
As we near the final stages of the rehearsal process and bring together the piece, the overall look is becoming clearer. It will be enhanced tremendously by the venues where we will be performing: The Municipal Market (Brighton, 17 & 18 May), a secret forest location (Norwich & Norfolk Festival, 20 & 21 May), The Village Underground (Spitalfields Music Festival, 13 June) and an open air stage (Latitude Festival, 12 & 14 July). Each one of these spaces is completely different and will bring a new depth to the performance.
The locations, the costumes and the set have helped us re-devise Bow Down for a contemporary audience. For instance, our costumes play strongly towards the modern nature of the production and have been influenced by what we wear off-stage.
The set is structured around a mangled, rusty child’s roundabout. Part of it in perfect working order, the other part mangled, made of twisted sections of steel, battered and tortured. Although the roundabout is not always the focus of the piece, it will always be on the audience’s mind.
The technical side of the production, like the lighting is different compared to anything else I have worked on before. What makes it more interesting is that we cannot reproduce the same lighting at each location. For example, in the secret forest location (Norwich & Norfolk Festival, 20 & 21 May) we won’t have access to a lighting rig and there has been talk about using fire instead!
The idea of flames and other unorthodox theatrical lighting methods is a good way to picture the production: good and evil, light and dark, the Brothers Grimm’s Life Lessons.
When coming to see a performance of Bow Down, people can expect to see an ancient tale with a contemporary feel, keeping true to the creators’ intentions but presenting the material in a new and exciting way.
Our latest blog posts:
On the origins of Bow Down
Meet the cast of Bow Down
Mana Shibata: On meeting Sir Harrison Birtwistle…
Bow Down: behind the scenes video
Finding my rythm in Bow Down
Rehearsing Bow Down: an atypical process
Going beyond the music with Bow Down
Bow Down: a special kind of fairy tale
Bow Down performance spaces
Bow Down in pictures