Friday, 22 January 2010

Presentation of "The Outsiders" at Quarterhouse (Folkestone): 1 July 2009

Work in Progress, Quarterhouse, Folkestone 1st July 2009

Gabrielle presented a work in progress, alongside three other director-practitioners.

The Outsiders (35mins)

A mother, a daughter, a stranger and a community. What happens when an animal is wounded and basic needs collide? A compelling physical story of survival.

Teena Antia; David Crowley; Gabrielle Moleta; Kelso Winnick
Led by: Gabrielle Moleta; Fay Simpson

The Outsiders was the result of a week-long workshop which took place in Margate in June 2009, made possible with funding from Arts Council England South East. Gabrielle (a professional actor, movement director and education practitioner) is based in Margate and her collaborator, Fay Simpson (theatre director and devisor of the physical theatre training technique The Lucid Body), is based in New York. The plan is to develop it into a longer piece with more choreographed moments around the village scenes and an additional animal. In its current state, the piece is suitable for presentation in colleges and drama schools alongside a workshop in Transformation technique.

Some further information about the piece:

The absorbing and moving story of a girl, new to a tight village community, who comes across a wounded deer in the surrounding woods. As she struggles to help the animal, she is aided by a man all the villagers despise, and whom her mother has forbidden her to go near.

As the deer slowly heals, so a new, and dangerous, friendship develops.

Using sparse text, movement both stylised and choreographed, and a live and recorded soundscape, the action unfolds on stage and around the audience, drawing towards an unexpected and terrifying conclusion.

Four actors switch effortlessly between the animals, humans - and animals within the humans - that make up this community in crisis.

The Outsiders is an unflinchingly truthful piece, examining the instincts that lie so close beneath the surface of civilisation, and the extraordinarily close relationship between joy and grief, laughter and violence. In its fairytale simplicity it is anguished and funny, raw and shocking.

A physical story of survival…

"The Outsiders" was developed in collaboration with Fay Simpson:

Gabrielle Moleta and Fay Simpson, two movement directors from different continents, who shared a desire to draw a new piece of theatre using their respective movement disciplines as the creative hub of the work.

Fay Simpson is Artistic Director and co-founder of Impact Theatre, New York, since its creation in 1990.
In 1999, Fay was awarded a Fox Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to serve as an Assistant Director at Shakespeare’s Globe on the 1999 productions of Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra.
Off-Broadway and International productions include Raging Women and One Bad Man, Kurt’s Wife: A Story of Lotte Lenya, The Marital Bliss of Francis & Maxine, Better, Triptych, and a solo performance piece entitled Trapped In Seven, for which she was honoured with “Best Female Performer” in the Spotlight On awards of 2000.
Her award-winning book, The Lucid Body, which details her unique physical training method for the actor, was published earlier this year.

Some samples of audience response, received at the work's first two showings - at Central Studios Margate and at Quarterhouse Folkestone:

“I thoroughly enjoyed [The Outsiders]. There were moments of honesty, beauty and profound immediacy. The potential for this work, particularly in light of the need for reconnection with the natural environment and a widespread love of animals, is exciting. I also think this work has potential to attract a non-theatre going audience.” - Pippa Bailey, Creative Director, Total Theatre

“I was absorbed. It was good to have humour and sadness, joy at relationship, tenderness to the vulnerable deer and ‘the gentleness of a
murderer’. Loved it!” - Heather Sawney, Arts Development Officer, Thanet District Council

“An excellent, inventive piece. Really interesting. Beautifully done - the simplicity was fantastic. Emotionally engaged the audience.” - Philip Dart, Artistic Director, Channel Theatre

“The whole piece was extremely emotional and resonant. Joy and grief so close together…. Extraordinary to get to this stage in a development week. A very strong story.” - Will Wollen, Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Margate

“Fantastic. I thought this was a really strong piece…anguished, exciting.” - Claudia Leaf, Chalkfoot Theatre Arts

“Well paced and acted very well.” - Audience member, Quarterhouse, Folkestone

“The best for me was [Company] Gabrielle Moleta which moved me to tears. Brilliant acting… depth to their work.” - Audience member, Quarterhouse, Folkestone

“The lack of inhibitions and the clarity of emotion was a strength.” - Audience member, Central Studios, Margate

Images of the work, in development at Channel Studios, Margate, are above. Photos by Chris Rose.

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