Not all dragons are scary .
Some are just meant to make you stronger.
In whatever form they choose to appear in.
And through they can be frightening if you are not used to seeing them in action; they soon become your truer ally , in the end.
Dragons are the best of us and the worst of us.
The fear and the fire .
Dragons have turned young knights into brave saints , Scottish ogres to animated lovers and apathetic youth , into new found theatre culture vultures ?!
A PACE fairy story with a good ending to fight for. Training your dragon “to be” the hero in your own Spires Tale.
So though it might seem you’ll never get some thing here , it’s always good to at least try?
It must have crossed Saint George’s mind , as he squared up to his ” local ” dragon . And maybe Shrek , never thought he and Fiona would ever work together , so why bother going on that quest?
We all consider not doing things at some point. The effort, the nerves , the feeling of inadequacy in face of the colossal task confronting us…
So much easier to just turn our backs on things like that and leave it to other kinds of people to deal with.
For us , much the same as in the more focused “drama” space.
” there’s a scary woman in Spires 1 ….don’t go in there …you’ll get eaten alive ….”
The “Mhairi” urban myth reigns supreme – “Dragon-Lady” of Spires who stalks her prey and let’s her drama wrath fire ….
A little bit dramatic ….don’t you think ?
I like to think this dragon-lady is a positive force to be reckoned with, and after seeing another theatre dragon in action last night – I think I now know why.
There is nothing better than seeing young people being brave , standing up for themselves , facing their fears and embracing their imagined destiny on the backs of their own scaled beast .
Nothing better than teaching them how to cope , to arm themselves and yes , in some way …to perform better.
Not just for the stage , but for the rest of their lives. For the quests to come , the adventure , the curve balls thrown in the road ahead .
But what of DRAGON :
Tommy faced what could possibly be one of the worse things to happen to a child – the death of a parent , and in his case , his mum.
Unable to express himself through the unbearable sense of loss he felt , the crippling emotional numbness that froze his being; His selective mutism become his only weapon of defence .
Some thought it his weakness , only a dragon knew it was his necessary inner strength.
Traumatic incidents of this nature , must leave you feeling so disconnected from the world. The pain , the frustration , the anger , the inevitable storm inside , that must be weathered in order to move on.
There’s a quote for everything here , but never a definitive answer.
Is it any wonder a dragon came to save our ” acting ” hero ?
The most fearful things are often the things we need to go through to emerge better versions of ourself , we know tha too. Or so we’re told .
And whilst I’m not saying an experience like Tommy’s is something we need feel to be stronger . I think, as with all good drama , we can take many things away from this latest Play.
**More discussion is needed about it , some thing that would take too long to do here , to do it justice – I think a post show discussion is needed for those that were affected ( theatrically ) more by what they saw , even just to be able to talk about it with others is needed , especially if this is something that is not your usual PACE modus operandi ( drama way ) . This will come . Details below.
For those that have never seen anything like this before it must have been thrilling, exciting …new .
Wasn’t theatre supposed to be all big sets , lavish costumes and big show numbers ?
Surprise , surprise …theatre can be as effective as profoundly moving , with even just one person, as it can also be here with a handful of well trained actors engaged ” together ” in a beautifully envisaged “physical theatre” piece called Dragon .
Those that did REMOTE this year ( seems an age ago) would recognise and empathise easily with this kind of ” playing ” .
Making theatre out of thin air is the stuff of a more creative ” act ”
We did that and learned and grew exponentially from the experience – no PACE cast has ever bonded so well through a process and due largely to the fact , you made your own show from pure ” imagination ” .
And we in PACE are now all for this boundary less existence , we few , we happier few who “train” this way …
There is nothing you can’t do , with a paper bag , a fan , a chair/ table / door frame on castors . There is nothing you can’t do without a freer mind . The ability to look at a drama concept and not be limited by your own insecurity or need for others approval . To just try and make it happen – as I struggled to do with Team 1 the other night ( I hope your lesson is learned and your eyes wider open to the power of the imagination on stage )
If you believe and show , so an audience will go with you . Doubt and fear and the audience take control and the play is lost .
Art is the expression of personality, feeling , the soul . Dramatic art is no different.
Lights , music , scenery , props , costume and a company of actors do play their part- but it depends what the point of the piece is to decide how to load the stage for best advantage
The point of this play was in many ways its title . Not a story about a dragon , but how a dragon made a story .
These puppets ( personified emotions ) were the most effective dramatic device here and cleverly devised out of the everyday of our lives
A life raft
A chimney smoke
A boys grief
I suppose if you had known what the play was going to be about , the fact it was all ( almost ) silent , the simplicity of its nature , you might have turned your back on it too ? Thought it too childish , boring , not enough action to entertain you to bother going ?
But facing up to things that might seem not for us , too diffucult to get is surely the point of coming to drama in the first place ?
Drama means :
An exciting , emotional , or unexpected event or circumstance
Isn’t that the reason you come to PACE ? To belong to a YOUTH THEATRE
To be part of exciting , emotional , unexpected events ?
Not to just bring your everyday perspective on things with you !
What’s the point in drama for you if you wont , can’t or don’t participate fully. ?
Theatre means :
The seeing place
Its origins are in Greece ( th start of our Greek historic drama roots ) and it was a place where people came to see ” mirrored” back at them ” the human condition , society with all its complications. The soap opera of life ..”
That may be a bit deep for some to yet understand , but it is enough to know that theatre ( this ” seeing place ” still survives today because it’s so important to try to show us the WORLD …not just ” SOMEWHERE OVER A RAINBOW” – to show us everything that goes on in life , in other places , to remind us we are all connected.
The Chinese believe we are connected to people from birth , by invisible red threads , connected to a chain of people who come into our lives for a reason ( sounds like a wicked lyric ! ) – these red threads map our lives .
Now whether we believe that or not is our own philosophy …whatever gets you through as they say…
… but the drama in that red thread idea is enough to maybe make us feel that connections in PACE are some times the best ones we make , because they are unlike any other , they are a safety net to catch us when we think we might fall.
Dragon was as a play a bit of both our worlds – real life meets imagination – all bound up in a dramatic theatrical experience that based on your “standing ovation ” left you for once speechless…
I’m glad this CITZ ( Citizens Theatre ) experience moved you – as a Glasgow Theatre Institution it has always been known for its controversial , anti establishment and hard hitting seasons of play .
A TV documentary ” 60 years of blood , sweat and glitter ” was recently shown on STV , documenting its artisic policy and the characterful actors who have played its stage boards. ( might still be available on catchup and probably if more drama focused currently ( worth a look ) . I know a certain “Folk Boy ” has watched it and thoroughly recommended it.
This was just another of many theatre trips that opens your eyes that little bit wider , shifting something inside , to let the ” new in ” and something else to start to grow in your performance potential – it’s also just something practically to talk about in English and Drama Depts in school – some thing to show another side of you , maybe not yet seen by others teachers ?
I’m pleased it was a varied group trip last night , the more PACE cultured mixed with the newly introduced .
Even some panto cast faces , who will benefit I’m sure from the experience of seeing things move so seemlessly about a stage space , changing the perspective of the scene – which is our SB15 set challenge this year! Yikes !
There was a lot to like about last night , a lot to talk about and learn from , for ongoing work , especially the ones who want to do more , see more , be more now ” the blinkers have come off ” and they get the point better now …
I think , based on this change of opinion , it is now time to bring back CULTURE CLUB .
Something we ran a lot, in the past , something that was lost for a while (when we re- structured Spires work ) and rebooted our youth arts direction.
That was when my work dragon came , and for a short while I thought I couldn’t go on , that maybe I should turn my back on the direction I was so desperate to hang on to here . Scared maybe it wasn’t worth fighting for.
But time has shown that good things come right in the end and often we have to fall silent , hit our heads off some very brick walls , to find our own way through the void .
Dragon away now , I see a real passion returning to Spires , red threads everywhere and lots of creative fire in young people’s eyes.
This year especially I feel PACE is finally coming back through the artistic youth storm clouds , that I’m no longer having to fight to get young people eager to try a new CULTURE of learning,
Even In the past few months we’ve been to
Montgomery Freedom Marches , with Nina Simone
Stratford RSC with a foxy Volpone
Paisley with a controversial Tribe
China Town to see a Theatre Dragon
The future’s bright , the future is Out There for anyone who cares to look with a more open mind – I fact anyone who just wants to see more Theatre/Arts.
And for the theatre-trip first timers amongst you last night – here in the creatively adapted words, of one of the world’s cultural pioneers – Julius Caesar is a drama message :
“You came , you saw , you conquered (in style! )
…a fear of culture maybe? …let’s hope next time it won’t be as difficult , to pick up a theatre ticket and slay again …?
Be sure, they might not all be as enjoyable , but at least you’re fired for more of this dragonlady’s “drama” – on your return to our black creatures space.
Happy October Break
For cultural info, :
SCENE Culture Club
Sunday 18th October – 11.30-1pm – Spires 1
( post show discussion , for Dragon )
Places limited – details of how to boom posted soon