Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mr Chekhov and the KATS


Over the weekend, one unexpected priviledge of mine was to join in with a KATS theatre group (these were the guys who took on the pillowman earlier on in the year - link here - see 9th Mar bit) workshop in Galway, run by one Max Hafler of UCG, director, writer, and great teacher as it turns out.
Twas a bit of a joy. The group were very friendly and welcoming, but also extremely focussed and serious about their work. I had 3 and a half of the most inspiring hours that I've experienced for a while. One standout exercise was based on the approach of Michael Chekhov (Anton's nephew). It involved envisioning a swimming pool of colour first of all, then seeing the colour rise up from the ground in front of you, with a very clearly defined border. Max asked us to put our arms first, then our feet, and eventually our heads into the space. (It was so well done that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to breathe inside) Then we took a walk in the space...
After that the space was changed. We had to infuse it in our imagination with one particular emotion. We had to feel it, first with our fingers, then underfoot, then on the skin of our faces and finally through our whole selves - what it felt like. A pretty powerful approach I found. And weirdly because the space was so well defined, you could jump back out at any time as well, as well as jumping back in too.
Definitely one that could be used in writing too. Brilliant.

7 comments:

Domestic Oub said...

"I had 3 and a half of the most inspiring hours that I've experienced for a while."

Gee, thanks, and like, my hour on your show didn't inspire you to new heights of creativity???

Totalfeckineejit said...

I love Chekhov but Uhura and Spock were my faves.

Niamh B said...

Aw Oub - you see the workshop took place on the saturday, and the radio show for which you now are finally internationally recognised as a beacon of greatness took place on the sunday, so it hadn't happened when I was at the drama yokey. Ok, I should just put the shovel down... you diva.
TFE - Did you see the new film and what happened between Uhura and Spock? Disgraceful. At least Chekhov kept himself aloof from all of that...

swiss said...

uhura always had a thing for those boys....

anyway, there's a rumour, spread by me, that when the irish trip takes place i may have some poems, original ones mind, in irish. watch this space - somewhere soon i'll be mrudering your language!

Niamh B said...

she sure did.

Am very excited by the thoughts of listening to a scots swissman murdering a bit of gaeilge, sounds like perfect Glór fodder, you'll have to put your name down with the organiser - his email is mrstephenjamessmith@gmail.com, just plan your monday night to be in Dubland!

Lily Sheehan said...

I'll have to try that myself. Although I am feeling somewhat inspired right now already so I shall save that activity for when whatever it is* that is inspiring me right now starts to wane.

*think its determination right now but it always seems to bugger off and hide after a while.

Niamh B said...

I think it's lack of superhuman strength and/ or an extra 10 hours per day that's holding me down, a bit slow on the actually writing front this weather, but good on ya, glad to hear you're motoring!