Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A post show interview with Designer Faye Brinkworth

Jemima Yong: How are you feeling now that the production has ended its run? What kind of feedback have you heard from people?

Faye Brinkworth: Exhausted but exhilarated. It has been so much part of my life since December that it feels very strange for it to be all over. That's the thing with theatre, it is all temporal. You and your team work incredibly hard for a long time for a run that only last six performances. Now that the production has ended it provides a great opportunity to reflect how much I have learnt working with both Blind Summit and Central students.

The feedback I have had from friends, family and colleges has been positive. I think what was interesting about our show was it was something different. I had never seen a one hour puppetry production performed all to Mahler's first symphony in or out of Central and I don't think many other people had either. It was great to offer a show that was innovative in so many ways. The puppets were definitely the highlight of the performance and everyone had their favorite characters whether it was Buck, the pug, the squirrel..!\

JY: What's been the most challenging thing you've had to work through during this production?

FB: The most challenging...that is a difficult one as there have been many. I think the hardest thing was to ensure that we maintained a simple beauty that was contained both within the aesthetics and the narrative we were telling.

JY: What do you think is the largest misconception people have about your practice?

FB: I think the largest misconception that people hold about theatre designers is that designing a show is easy. Perceptions of how designs are formed can be slightly off track as some think once you have read the play/script then the design just happens or appears. I wish at times it could be that easy. Design is about understanding what your director/collaborators vision is and then being able to create a visual language that supports that. One design may go through many many changes and mutations before it is finalised. During and after that point there is much collaboration and negotiations within your team to ensure that it can be constructed within all the parameters set whether in budget, time, man power etc..! The list goes on.

JY: What was it like working closely alongside a professional company? What was it like working in particular with Blind Summit?

FB: It has been a great opportunity to work with Blind Summit. Every professional company or practitioner that I've worked with have very different processes, and it is understanding how one can best support and learn from their individual techniques that can produce the most learning outcomes as a student.

Working with Blind Summit has really opened new doors to the way I approach and think about theatre. I had never done or been involved in any kind of puppetry before Call of the Wild, and it was certainly a huge learning curve. Suddenly issues that I had never had to think of before such as puppetry sight-lines and costuming puppeteers were as important as designing set or costumes for the production. As the Call of the Wild was also a devised piece, meaning that it constantly evolved and changed within the 6 week rehearsal period, it challenged me to be objective in the way I assessed what worked and what did not within the design.

Mark Down and Nick Barnes are incredibly talented practitioners with immense imagination and insight to create shows that are creatively diverse and challenging. It has been a privilege to work with them and I look forward to seeing many more of their shows.

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