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Pit Lab* at The Barbican

We spent the last week of January 2011 at The Barbican researching and developing the design and technical side of Tonseisha in much the same way actors and writers often enter a room to play with ideas surrounding a new project. The Pit is offered as a venue to artists, performers and facilitators across all art forms as an incubator for creative work, experimentation and realising of ideas. To our knowledge, we don’t know of any group which dedicates this amount of time to their sound, lighting and design team to experiment and play with ideas which shape the world we’re building.

We were very happy to be awarded a week’s worth of time in the Pit Theatre, with full technical support, organised by the Barbican and Guildhall Creative Learning. We experimented with non-traditional lighting techniques, front and rear digital projection, slide projectors, colourscapes, live amplification of machinery and equipment, live sound looping, and various microphone types. One of our designers, Jonathan Swain described what we were trying to create as live painting, which I rather like.

We also invited a team of male actors in to try group soundscapes and the presentation of different aspects of character via multiple bodies in the space. We are very grateful to Austin Spangler, Phil Whelans, Thom Tuck, and Charles Adrian Gillott who contributed towards this aspect of development.

You can view more film footage and photographs of this week and our ongoing process on our Film and Photography pages. Images by John Hunter at RULER, Oda Starheim, and saltpeter.

Tonseisha – The Man Who Abandoned The World is a developing project based on the play Tonseisha by Erik Patterson

*Pit Lab has since been renamed Open Lab

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