I’ve been developing Static for almost a year now. During that time it has metamorphosed into something completely different from its origins, and the discovery process has been both fun and rewarding from an artistic point of view. Along the way, I have had to learn a lot of new things and come to terms with concepts which is not known anything about, such as ‘scratch nights’, ‘blocking’, ‘mind maps’. It’s all been a little bit scary.
‘Static’ the show sprang from a short performance art piece which I’ve performed here and there, also called ‘Static’. Indeed, the show ends with this piece, which people have often described as thought provoking, sad and subdued, which isn’t my normal style at all! During the piece I would examine issues of movement and geography, expectations and identity, all during a five minute ‘poem without words’.
When it came to thinking of ideas for a one hour show, I thought back to this piece and I decided that I could expand it, make it autobiographical, and yet encompass much else, focussing more explicitly on issues of identity. This forced me to look at my own life and upbringing, my own desires and motivations, my own life. Born and raised in Surrey, there was always this sense of movement, which is something I touch on in the show.
The writing process has been fun. I started out with a loose narrative and some old poems which I’d performed all over the UK, but I soon realised that I should write new material for it. And because the show is autobiographical, the poems are more introspective than normal, with one or two of the usual comedy ones thrown in for relief. Four of them are brand new and will be heard when the show is performed for the first time. Two of them have wriggled free of the show, and I have performed them for the last couple of months: ‘Jamie’, and ‘The Doors’.
The show also incorporates some prop work which I have been developing, including a theremin, and a large hadron collider.
So I’m looking forward now to the challenge of learning the show, working on it and perfecting it. I’ve been working with Ziggy Abd El Malak, a fantastic director who has completely changed the way that I perform and approach both performance and rehearsal.
The show will be performed at the Artizan Gallery in Torquay for the first time on 29th May, then at the Guildford Fringe, before a run at the Edinbrugh Fringe in August.