Well we’ve reached our REMOTE end.
PACE’s National Theatre Connections Journey 2015 is finally over.
Gone but never forgotten.
Last night , saw the cast taking to the stage for their SwanSong performance at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh.
A wet Monday on the 1st day of June was not going to dampen their spirits. A rather unwelcoming Lyceum experience was never going to quash their resolve …to go out on a chandelier High!
Rushed day or no…there was purpose in their PACE stride …a mood ” best described as determined”.
Bravo, brava …a touching , intelligent, professional and utterly perceptive performance reached All, across the Stalls expanse of audience, that made it along to this opening night of NTC’s Scottish Festival.
We may not have had the hordes of promenaders who graced our Wynd Home Venue shows , but we had a small band of PACE brothers and sisters , family and more familiar friends who thankfully made the trip through, to support our creative effort.
The Cast , Crew and I are grateful for this. Thank you for making our last show worthy of some attention.
Sometimes it’s really hard to pour your heart into to a piece of theatre art , to have it seen by so few people. It hurts in other ways.
Especially with a piece of theatre that has such special relevance for us all today. Not just the younger generation, but for we adults too.
Our everyday world is fast becoming isolated , in its over use of technology and social media. Fast becoming. Pointless. Apathetic towards the bigger things that truly matter.
This show tried to buck that trend, to say ” look up ” , look out , and get your life back into , albeit, a little perspective
It’s easy to switch on a screen and scroll your life away. I’m doing it now , I’m the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, …or am I?
It’s hard to feel you can do nothing about things , often too late to change who you realise you are fast becoming. Helplessly falling into a life you never expected or even wanted to be living.
Remote was always a play written to empower young people , to protect them from this ” tangled web ” we weave.
It was a protest ” against all of that ” !
The fun I’ve had with this play , this amazing cast has been one of the best times of my PACE life. Not a thing to lightly say , as there have been many great casts and fanatic shows.
But something in the way this cast ” moved me ” …something that shifted , under my rib cage ,just left of my heart, that I know will stay with me , long after this play is gone.
The journey we shared , “cliched” as that may sound to others, was honestly a roller coaster ride from start to finish . Not just because that’s what you say in these situations , but because that’s what it felt like , every moment of the way.
There are special projects in PACE , diffuclt, uncomfortable experiences…that really change you; and whilst Panto is great , Fest a hoot and Verona doubtless a challenge…Connections is pure heart. Connections is life affirming, not just for the cast , but for all those involved who make it happen.
Now before I get too sentimental…
I don’t want to make anyone unconnected ” out there” , on the end of this post , feel bad because they didn’t get to do it.
I don’t want to make anyone feel excluded or awkward because they haven’t been through it…
I just want to praise 23 young people for their sacrifice , their endeavour , their passion for a higher theatre cause. For being the best we could ever, ever have hoped for.
Occasionally we need to blow the special PACE trumpet really really Loud !
Praise and honour the ones who go the extra mile for the love of their Dramatic Art.
You understand this is not personal , but entirely personally important to me – for them!
Ours is not to reason why …ours is just TO BE. So I’m going to be really emotional about this group of young people who made this wonderful PACE play happen.
I’m going to give them the recognition they might not have fully had , but absolutely deserve.
Through this they were , no, ARE , changed forever. And that’s a big drama “cliche” to feel very PACE proud of.
You have to look at the bigger picture here and sure not everyone says they want that stuff….
But why wouldn’t you ? Why wouldn’t you want to let something so wonderful affect you, for good! To carry the lessons learned into every part, of the rest of your chosen life, beyond our Gleaming Drama Spires and Ivory Theatre towers.
And as we come to close Stef Smith’s script , file away the notes , pack up the costumes and dismantle the wooden set , ready to be recycled in another space and creative time.
We have to look now to the ongoing artistic legacy of this play.
For those that came to see REMOTE , maybe there is a tiny drama spark now ready to start a flame.
For those that were inspired by the actors , maybe hope for inclusion in similar ” acting change ” projects to come
For those that understood the deeper emotional message of the words delivered? Then …a breath taken , a distracting device less fixated on…dare I say it …a little life perspective?
We can only hope , we can only ever truly hope to make a difference with our better plays.
Mahonia bears that self same message too…
… funny how everything you strive to drama do eventually comes full circle. I seem to spend my entire Artisic Life going round in creative circles , only to come back to the same personal dramatic conclusion –
“You have to want to try to be better , to ever make a difference to your life…”
The Remote cast always tried to be better , to know more , to understand the things that first frightened them , to never give up when the going got tough , to take the ” criticism ” and to use it to their advantage , to address the body issues, the anxiety , the fear of failure, the buried shortcomings that lie in us all.
To learn emotionally that tears were not a sign of weakness but of strength , to know that real friendship comes through facing hardship together. To connect not in some fake cyber space , but in a truer reality.
23 made it to the finish line. 23 have now , I’d say , grown “up” in PACE.
You can put all the hours in here you want , you can have come here since nursery , go right through till s6 …but you’ll only be able to say that you’ve matured here , when there is not one part of you that you don’t know , inside out , back to front and wholly upside down.
Just because you attend , doesn’t mean you learn. Doesn’t mean you get what all the “fuss” is about. That is so important for you all to know.
So, in conclusion…and back to those characterful branches:
My love , for each one of you that made it through the rain, biting hail and thunderstorms of this show project.
My emotional thanks to Chloe for her complete , unwavering belief in and passion for this cast , this director’s stage madness and such an all consuming play!
My respect for you all – the 23 – that continually brought something else to the black empty SPACE we imperfectly shared.
My heart will always remember this time. The Park we call HOLI Home, our good old “Tree” that gave us solid roots to grow , stronger branches to climb and a top to aspire to reach , to be able finally to see the VIEW, from the ” cool” other side.
You know what happened to us from January to June . No need to parade the memories, that we will doubtless treasure
What is perhaps more sentimental, is your need to now decide, ” to use it” or to let it go?
Power , protest , protection come the stage whispers , let the wind of change blow out all that is old, and blow in the new ?