Chris Goode and various others sat on the floor discussing devising ideas

Open House, Day by day …

Posted on May 22, 2012

Every day, a member of Chris Goode & Company will being keeping us updated on the goings-on at Open House.

Get involved! 

The Final Day Angela Clerkin

25 May 2012 / Hamilton House

The rules of engagement: play with joy in your heart, dive into the unknown, assume nothing, notice everything, acknowledge the pain, embrace anyone who will let you, explore the difference between chance and choice, keep the house open.

I intend to live my life like this from this day forward except I will probably lock my house as I live in London.

My favourite things this week include (in no particular order) : the red dress going down and up the hill and the beautiful people in it, the view from the window, James dancing, the outside being inside and the inside being inside and outside, Chris making tea for us when we met at 9am in his room every morning, the addictive truth-telling and compulsive lies, the map of Cornwall, sacking the extinct animals, Pauline dancing, Robert’s paintings, Choice and Chance, Tom’s burly Blue Peter tattoo, the tree of life (all versions inc. on the wall on the hill courtesy of 2 fine young men), Banksy’s Mild Mild West, Bill T. Jones, the audience playing Kneel to Pray, great coffee made by Pippa in the cafe across the road, ‘Beauty from Ashes’, the ‘I Have An Ethical Problem’ jam, Chris telling us to throw out the set list, Heather playing with Isobel, the canteen staff at Hamilton House, Lines, dancing every day, the list of happiest moments, the loss of my aversion to lists, Mr Curry, Tom’s poems, Heather’s lie, hearing a foetal heartbeat, Mary Celeste inventory, Nikki carrying pubic hair in her purse, Thursday night’s showing, the admirable honesty and deceit of all present, the red dress photographs, jam, egg, jumping off a diving board, checking in and checking out, and the open door approach.

My favourite people this week (in order of height): Isobel, Pauline, Maddy, Nikki, Katrina, Amy, Beth, Catherine, Jessica, Paul, Anita, Becky, Jenny, Georgie, Jacob, Judith, J, Johanna, Kevin, Heat Her Up Richard, Sarah, Rose, Barbara, Lovely can’t read your name person 1, Adam, Tom, Tom, Ric, James, Emil, Kate, Mathew, Rob, Lovely can’t read your name person 2, Robert, Gary, Gareth, Richard, Chris, Lovely can’t read your name person 3, Kieran, and very tall Olly.

My unfavorite things: (out of order) I didn’t get to see Autobiographer, Hitch or The Articulate Hand; I slept badly last night because I got over-excited by the work and my new chums; my bones ached today because I’m not as fit as I’d like to be; and the missed opportunity because most of Bristol didn’t seem to know where to find our house or indeed that it was open.

The door is now closed. Jimi Hendrix has left the building.

Day #4 Pauline Mayers

24 May 2012 / Hamiliton House

After three days of furious play and exploration, the balmy unexpected summer heat brought with it a time to re-focus our attentions. To induce a new way of thinking we changed the configuration of the room and with that change there was a question.

What is the world outside of the window? I say “the window” when the reality is that it is a series of large windows that cover the length of the entire room allowing lots of light, much needed air and opportunities of inspiration.

The daily commute, coffee shops, cycle rides, people walking, groups of friends sharing a pint and lots and lots of dogs, became our fascinations. Observations of the outside world continued, as creativity arose and became tangible.

In our most unguarded moments, we can reveal who we are. It is possible to have many conscious and unconscious thoughts in our head at any given moment. What if our unspoken thoughts of the outside world were brought into this room?

Ethical questions abound, as we wrestled with rules of engagements. Games of spoken and physical interpretations of those innermost machinations became communal. Bodies replaced bodies, imagination displaced video, and thoughts gave rise to voice. The “What if?” of ideas, contexts, questions and trials continued with the destination neither apparent nor needed.

Open House is a place of discovery that is an invitation to all.

I’m happy I took up the offer. Let’s see together where the challenge leads us.

Day #3 Heather Uprichard

23 May 2012 / Hamilton House

When is an audience not an audience?

At Open House today

When is a performer not a performer?

At Open House today

When is outside not outside?

When is inside not inside?

When is finished a starting,

And starting an end point?

…that’s right

(excuse me, my brain is a bit sea shanty’d)

What a joy to be in such a place of play and discovery and to be confidently at the point of letting an ‘audience’ come and go to rehearsal and performance AND feel the material thrive from it, becoming something more than all of us.

Is it theatre?

Absolutely it is.

I feel revived. Relieved. Excited. Thank you Bristol. Thank you Open House. Thank you universe.

and tomorrow/today?

who knows, let’s find out


Day #2 Tom Frankland

22 May 2012 / Hamilton House

What do skydiving nuns, a man in a red dress, a hula-hooping three year old and a list of fictional extinct animals have in common? That’s what we’ve been trying to figure out today in Open House.

Tuesday has been a more reflective day, we have been digesting the material generated yesterday from the objects that were brought in by the core team and beginning to refine some of the shoots that were thrown up in response. We began with a reshuffle of the room, creating a hub for laptop writing and extending our dance floor to be more prominent in the room. Today there were several early visitors and some familiar faces returned from yesterday.

We have been continuing to tie the threads together – creating different tableaux and scenes with the iconic red dress and continuing to catalogue extinct animals, now resonating within our map of West Cornwall. For a large part of the day, a prominent visitor was three-year old Isobel and her Mum who joined in and have left us with some incredible images and a story about a cow who does a poo … twice.

As I write now, the sun is streaming through the windows. On the wall there is a projection of a skydiving nun on a BMX in permanent loop, a sea shanty anthem is being composed to my left and to my right a dancer attempts to dance to a series of impossible instructions… “now listen to the floor” to a mash up of piano music and a heavy rhythmic beat.

Where will all these strands end up? What moments will be consigned to memory and which will appear in Friday’s performance? That is all to be discovered, but if you’d like to come and join the friendly chaos, place your mark upon the process or simply sit back and observe then do come and join us tomorrow from 10am.

Day #1 James Lewis

21 May 2012 / Hamilton House

The house is open. After shuffling some furniture and making this room in Hamilton House our home, we gathered in a circle. There is a core team of theatre makers that will be in the room everyday, from 10am to 9pm. Some of us have worked with each other before, for some this is the first meeting. Our core team of 6 was instantly 7 as we were joined by Nikki from Mayfest who will be with us for the week. A few bits of admin and we were ready to turn to our blank page. Each of the core team members, as preparation for the week, was asked to bring stimulating materials to share. A thing, an idea, a word. Something to be in the room, something to start a conversation. So into the room came the tree of life, susurration, an old map of West Cornwall, a pair of drum sticks, a sexy and sophisticated red dress, Bill T Jones, a cushion on which to kneel and pray, The Shaman’s body, Mr Curry a Ragtime spoon, a lock of Quarry’s afro and the stories that were entwined with these objects and ideas. Conversation was free and easy and ridiculous and honest and sad and joyful.

It was so exciting to see how quickly ideas became something new – a dance, a story of extinct animals, a list of truths, a wish for a world 10 seconds ago, and amazingly, a sense of a narrative seems to be hanging in the air. Along with new ideas we welcomed new people into the room. Some people stayed most of the day, some popped in briefly. Everyone that that entered the room joined the conversation and really made this a truly exciting day. No pressure on tomorrow then!