Working Together

29 February 2008

Talking in Leeds tomorrow with Kate Valk and Andrew Quick. Kate is one of the most extraordinary performers, a stalwart of the New York theatre makers The Wooster Group. I’ve met her a few times here and there and seen her perform often over the years but I’m really looking forward to talking with her and Andrew. It’s going to be a great event. First time I saw Kate on-stage was 22 years ago, hard to believe, in The Wooster’s L.S.D: Just The High Points alongside the amazing Ron Vawter. A lot of water under the bridge since then but it’s still very vivid to me, that first encounter with the Wooster’s approach – clipped and in some ways clinical performance style and a high-speed mix of materials, live and on video. What spoke to me most (in that piece and in later ones) is that the tricks of it, especially from performers Ron, and Kate and Nancy Reilly always created space, opened doors – all surface and all depth at the same time. Can’t wait. Here’s a short fragment I pulled from an interview with Kate a while back, and what I wrote after seeing her, Scott Shepherd and the rest of the group in the Wooster’s recent Hamlet. The panel Working Together is at WYP’s Courtyard Theatre, Leeds, Saturday 1 March 2008 at 2.30. In the evening (tonight and tomorrow) in the same place there are what may be final UK performances of my piece with Forced Entertainment, Bloody Mess. Next stop for that is Bogata in a week or so!

Andrew’s The Wooster Group Work Book which was published by Routledge late last year is also well worth checking out – a scrapbook collection come archive of documents, rehearsal logs, texts, long interviews and photographs that show the process and aesthetic of the group’s work incredibly well. It was designed by old friend Lewis Nicholson, who did my own Certain Fragments and much of Forced Entertainment’s early publicity materials.


A very nice blog The Leila Texts pointed out to me last night by Vlatka and comprising an on-going collection of SMS/texts from many different senders, arriving at someone’s phone mistakenly, thanks to a technical glitch. I like this one:

 Leila sheryn will pick u up after school do not take the bus i will see u in the parking lot i will have your things call me as soon as u get this message

Also this one:

Lets her know she s not missing anything 

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