My name is Antler. And I will not be part of the world. not this world . Not anymore
One of the opening lines from this year’s beautiful , bold NTC play.
I love National Theatre Connections I love the Creative Passion of it all.
No where else can you get such a broad diversity of Youth engaged in such noble arty pursuit – to act with such a grander communal purpose.
This is our 3rd foray into the NTC Festival for Youth . The 1st “memorable” , the 2nd “outstanding” and now for REMOTE by Stef Smith.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the NT Festival which began back in 1995.
And we have our first choice of play – REMOTE. Oh I love a one word title – so catchy , so succinct.
REMOTE! Or REmOTE as I like to spell it – you can see I’ve taken a little creative license with the letter here , because I think the ” m” matters for now , in the bigger picture .
There used to be a bit of a standing joke , among those that never really understood DRAMA ..a joke that went something like:
” oh drama …is that being a tree …?!!” ( giggle giggle )
Well guess what jokers …this year , this epically ,free- form ‘poetic’ year , we are going to be like a tree… but with real dramatic difference!
To ‘be’ a tree is more than to stand and sway and move your arms in contorted direction ; to be an NTC tree is to grow with unending branches , to bend but not to break , to root and ground , to stand head and shoulders above the rest and to draw the envious eye ever higher.
Who wouldn’t ever want “to be a tree” in drama?
Stef Smith offers us here the theatrical opportunity to reach beyond our perceived expectations and to naturally evolve as one cast , one voice , one hope for the future.
The Guffin may have given us London. Heritage undoubtedly gave us acting back and REmOTE ? Maybe this play will give us all ” a brighter , more worthy future ”
Because this is a play with a social conscience, a heart and perhaps a more human insight into the state of our ” ageless ” soul.
REMOTE is as relevant for me as it is for you , for parents and children , for neighbours and friends , for those we know and those we have yet to meet.
It’s message is universal.
Described by the playwright as ” one long moment ”
As if we stop, take a breath, and in that moment ” the world changes ” just for then , in that surreal pause we call – stage play.
For aren’t we all “remote” at some point in our lives?
Don’t we all blank out and “go somewhere” just ‘some time’ ?
” I’ve got somewhere I need to be. Simple as.” declares our protagonist Antler…
But who to ?
To herself ?
To the world ?
To anybody who will care to hear how she cries ?
This is a play that begs questions about our own existence.
Funny how Connection’s plays always end up questioning the very things we take for granted – like the drama they force us to leave behind in favour of better , more truthful stage performances.
Back to childhood again , to find the real YOU.
I won’t pretend that you won’t have to use your brain here , nor will I apologise for it.
Any good actor is an intelligent one, because with extra effort they have so many more doors to open on stage.
REmOTE is intelligently written in an unpretentious way. It stretches you without over-complicating things.
It moves you to think and that is good for Youth; and when you are young you don’t want words , you want action . These words make you want to act.
I think what I like most about this play is that, anything is possible – there is no paddock to contain us here , no door to have to go through this time.
There is only a big TREE to climb , and that , as we all should know, can lead to a pot of gold , somewhere out beyond the bright possible yonder .
Now for practicalities:
On confirmation from you (of your interest in this year’s NT Connections project) – you will receive an email containing a very short introductory script extract and a series of loosely text related questions to answer, along with a practical task to complete before Sunday’s BRANCH 1 workshops (Just enough to get “the little grey cells” firing ).
Might as well start as we mean to go on , and that means ‘home work’; the Extra ‘stuff’ that make Connections Projects begin long before rehearsals ever start, to prepare you I guess, for the road less travelled ahead..
However,after reading this , if you think it’s not for you yet; maybe you are unsure of the commitment or anxious if you can handle this degree of performance focus? Please don’t worry..just let us know and we will take you off the possible ” leaves ” list.
You will have to have good basic focus and concentration for this experience , pro-like energy levels goes without saying , but I also need people who ‘care’- more than anything – and definitely those that care to speak , to voice opinion , to offer ideas and who question naturally .
Those who ” in a stage nut shell ” want to learn and grow – and yes , the old adage seems appropriate here “from tiny acorns mighty oaks will grow”
This play does not need sheep, it demands reactionaries!
REmOTE as quoted is all about : protest , power and protecting yourself
If you have nothing to say how can you act here ? How will your performance make a difference in the grand scheme of NTC things?
(Pause for dramatic effect)
Before some of you now switch off your iPad , iPhone , iLifes – know this : NTC can change your life , it can give you that voice you never had , a belief in the power of your own ability , a more meaningful place in the heart of PACE.
But you have to take the first step :
Step. One foot
Then the other …
Not another door metaphor surely?
No just a way forward…
( breath )
( breath and reach up )
Onwards and upwards PACE!
See you back in Spires 1