Category Archives: INSPIRED BY MY MUSE

Bringing inspiring quotes into our conscious minds gives us the chance to try and adopt that quality we love in an inspirational person

Can’t afford to buy into #bluemonday

The title of  this post says it all.

I have could give. (counting my fingers) at least  10 reasons to ignore reality. I’m  a professional at  life -escapism

I’m on uppers and downers.

I’m in debt.

My  Bee (daughter) is ill.

 The sun remains my disco ball.

It’s (literally) beaming rays of  bright yellow  (as I type)

Us humans  are not a dying species. We’re living in oceanspolluted with plastic  and crazy levels acidification

I filled in a form – to

live on plastic to get by.

Tomorrow I’m still going to be here. I make my own fate.

 I’m not a ray of sunshine.

Far from it.

Bees, (buzz) and almost three quarters of   our earthling friends have been driven to extinction.

My  Bee  had a rough night.  At 7 am I let her play ‘Jurassic Park’ on the xbox.

ha! ha! They  are long gone but never forgotten.

My warped sense of humour   has acted  as my currency today.

I count my blessing because   In my life  I’ve been surrounded around   4 kick ass  ladies- all showing  me  different outlooks on Life.

My Mom – A legend!

My Gran  (who passed away from  vascular dementia and Alzheimers  on  Mothers day last year.

 I have to laugh – what a day to leave this world!

Wherever you are Gran – Thank you!

Tati!  I miss my aunt so much. We had some awesome times together. She died of lung cancer in February 2016.  I know that I’m not the only one who misses someone.

I have my Nan (on holiday in South Africa) who dedicated many years of her life and time to me.

My  Dad couldn’t be assed. I love  him,I don’t want wake up -one day – and realise he’s dead.

Je ne regrette rien’.  Edith Piaf

In my heart ,I respect he was a part of the conception process.  And Yeah.. we are human. Whatever!

THANKS DAD!

I digresse/d….

My Nan took on his role when my Mom or my Gran couldn’t.  Today’s moments   of introspection made me realise, that most of the men I have known in my life have been weak, and spineless . I don’t include my male bros  (in my life)

At least they seem it to me. Not saying they are weak all the time. just saying…….

I’m laughing…  if there is a God  (who clapped his hands ,one day and turned chaos into light. His (always look on  the Bright side of life) son could walk on water but..   he can’t fix a gate.

 

My Grandad -RIP –  I have this image of mim making business deals with every God of every religion. He was a brilliant, eccentric character .

I miss him. I wish I paid more attention to his perspective on life when he was still..

..here.

His favourite saying was: IT’S NOT A TRAIN SMASH

(my gaze drifts to look  out my  window, I strain my ears to listen)

 Nope, No rail tracks in sight  nor Choo Choo trains blasting their horns .

Surely the people who are out  on there on their travels  – trains, planes and automobiles-  are more likely to tempt fate than I am……

It’s been a challenge to  focus  on  getting on with life and writing this post….( without another night of  ‘nada’ / o hours of  sleep)

I’ve had to ‘dig deep’ and  not  wrap myself into  from all the crazy shit that’s happening/ has happened

  I’ve   been singing away the blues.

This moment is … is a gift.  This post probably  doesn’t make sense.  I care about loads of – and  far too many. people

At the same time I’m sure I could be doing more to help myself and others.

(my eyes drift  and settle on making out  images of clouds. Moving so  fast )  being true too it’s nature.

We are human beings. Life is tough and the ones who make it are probably…

…on happy pills .

I’m joking ….

Bad joke. I’m on  medication. Loads of tablets.

Does it help?  Sometimes they serve a purpose – then other days I want to give my all and increase my productivity dosage.

The fact  is I’m still here. That’s  good enough for me.

I’m blessed to have a daughter who commands my maternal instincts to protect her.

Many days have  been more creepy carnival   than Mardi Gras   It can be scary and rather  “trippy ” at times.

I stumble about from one task to the next,

..I suppose things could be worse.

Time to    defibrillate  my spirit into exsistance , whilst singing to the song ‘Staying aliiiiive’

Tomorrow is Tuesday.  Fact.

I’m  rather happy to be in the U.K.  for a change-far away from the Twisted  Trump oddity.

Hello ? what is  he thinking  announcing  that he will only allow white immigrants into The U.S of A. ?  The very day communities come together to ,

To unite and pay respect to his  Sir Reverend  Martin Luther  King ‘s day.

He used community and solidarity to  try gain   human rights.

26 years too late..

This has become  a national service day  in the Americas –

Can you believe  people are encouraged to fight war. To serve their country.

War seems (to me) the opposite of Martin Luther Kings goals.  Okay I know about the Black panthers .

Civil war ,slavery….

Approximately two generations after the prohibition ban on alcohal – (top five most addictive drug consumed in the world)

We have the “Millenials” , men , women , young teenagers  being  encouraged to fight about religion ?  (thinking)  the ongoing opiote  war.  Money?

Get behind

#MLKday for “civilians” who keep the true spirit of  Sir Reverend’s  agenda -to create a strong sense of community.

People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities can get involved. Just fill in your zip code/ postcode  in the Find a Project box to locate a volunteer opportunity in your community or plan your own project.

MLK DAY

1994  -the  year they decided give  national services day to honour   M.L.K.

This is the same year (I watched on the television) Nelson Mandela,  late president  of South Africa being released after  27 years incarceration on Robin Island.

 

RANDOM FACT

Dr. King was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil rights activities. While Dr. King preached about justice, empowerment, love and peace, in the final months of his life, his attention was turned to fighting poverty. Sadly, more Americans live in poverty today than during Dr. King’s lifetime. Forty-seven million Americans currently fall below the poverty line.

SOURCE

So on that note I will sign off with a song close to my heart . The feature pic is my arm with Make Believe -sunshine will follow the rain – tattooed. Not easy to take when it’s on my left hand and I’m  using my right hand.

Hold up, I’m getting into the swing of writing.

yeah, this tattoo is  one of my Mantras/positive affirmations I use to get by. Life  could be worse. I could wake up colour blind tomorrow…..That would suck.

Nevermind…

Anyway..   I needed to write a post to talk myself out of  self wallowing.

I’ve opened   all my existing debt letters  and I will get back to them…

this week.

Here is the song I  love so much. It  is referenced  in a book I’ve read called ‘the Paris wife’ by  Paula Mclain.

AUDIO PODCAST ON HERE

 

I sang away the blues…….

I know it’s not easy for most people. If I come across as sarcastic-

I am. It helps me laugh instead of cry.

Time to hit publish

Over to Nora bayes and a quote from the King.

make believe……(singing) …..-sunshine will follow the rain.   #Words matters

Final Ultimatum

LIFE UPDATE

PICTURE SOURCE

 

I’ve decided to  get tough and work with an inherent quirk:  self sabotage.

I’ve given it an ultimatum.

I’ve been  quiet-ish and random  (on here )because I’ve been a busy bee working on fulfilling my true passions.

Here’s a brief check in about  what I’m  currently doing in my life – I’, encouraging me to look after myself with kindness and make myself happy.

I equate privilege and wealth  with inner happiness – This is my currency for lasting happiness.

I’m embracing all my connections to get  my life sorted and reach my goals.

I’m still here and I will use whatever it takes to.. ahem.

break on through to the other side………. thanks Jim Morrison

I’m doing my final year with my Masters, I’m  embracing life as a single parent. Reclaiming my life and merging multiple passions/goals of mine:

  •  WRITING  

  • MENTAL HEALTH

  •  CREATIVITY

  •  CULTURE-

  • HISTORY

  • THE ARTS/PERFORMANCE/ENTERTAINMENT

Don’t count on other  people ‘to pat you on the back’ . Be your own mascot , cheer yourself on.  Create silver linings out of   stormy days.  Use a  hurricane life event to take stock , re evaluate.re- define, and acquire new skills and materials to start over.

Rely on yourself. Don’t rely  on other people to make you feel validated. Focus on the bigger picture and leave short term fixes to a minimun.

 I  think  many people give so  much of their energy  to others. I also thinks  many people give very little to others .

I think it’s time we should be kind to ourselves too

I stand by  my belief  that nobody  can define me :

Except me!

 I’ve re defined  my ‘black sheep’ role in  my family and society – I am not a sheep.

Being selfish is not a negative word. It’s  necessary for self development, growth to help  us become more productive ,and to pursue  our  goals  This often means, listening carefully to our  inner self , Don’t flinch or run away from change. Embrace change and fear. Don’t be afraid of success.

This blog is/has always been  for me . ( I believe in sharing  what makes me happy) because it may help others.

I strive to be authentic and to never be a “sell out”.

I support creativity. I believe every human being and species is/are  creative. We need to explore a variety of ways to express ourselves.    I am finally merging my  passions. My new page will be a regular addition to ‘the willows’  ( everyone is welcome)

I’m finally reciprocating with the people who seek me out and who I respect. The people  I feel are living the dream: being true to themselves .

 

I’m finally in a position to support and share creative individuals  content who I  think are G.O.A.T.

mmh?

 okay……..

bah-t

What is this  G.O.A.T. Miss Daisy ?

DEFINITION:

G,reatest O.f A.ll Time a hit , number one, in competition with nobody but themselves, self defined, not afraid to stand alone or connect, original, authentic, generous ,understands wealth and privilege is not about being rich in a monetary context or about wanting to be famous for superficial reasons.

(acronym/noun/ajective)

DAISY WILLOWS – ME

IMAGE SOURCE PINTEREST

OTHER DEFINITIONS

  1. G.O.A.T

anacronym for G.reatest O.f  A.ll  T.ime

Ultimate competitor

Michael Jordan is the G.O.A.T.

goat

One of the Highly intellegant animals that lives in rocky mountains. These creatures actually seem to be smarter than the average human being, however they don’t have all the technology because of a lack opposable thumbs

 SOURCE

I love to research. I’m naturally curious to understand other cultures, people and inform myself. In a random  research  session, I discovered #wordsmatters 

I’m  moving forwards.

Finally, I am taking direction from Life’s sign posts.

A moment of serendipity sealed the ultimatum  to focus more on myself and the people in my life who matter. People who make me feel good. This will make more sense when I’m ready to go public with it.

I’ve been joking about giving people pet  goats   for gifts/presents for over two years.

This is a gift I give to myself.

Why the obsession with Goats, Daisy?

I admire goats. It’s my new archetype. Goats are smart, can climb trees ,they are cute

  1.  FACT : Wild goats will climb a mountain or a tree to satisfy their cravings for minerals.    I  will go out on a limb to satisfy my cravings. Self expression,  and creativity is a constant craving

  2. FACT-: Sheep have been reported  to have a suicidal tendencies

  3. FACT 3 : Certain breeds of goats have been known to suffer from severe panic attacks until they faint

  4. 20180114_1153251746166084.jpg

 

Bah! I continue to  be upfront ,self  defined, and always march to my beat.

I remain  passionate about self expression and my ongoing  personal self development project/s.

Time to get back to life.

Live for yourself . Be so happy that you become a person who makes others feel happy.

Thanks you to LindaG.Hill  for  the daily word prompt:  ULTIMATUM  and all bloggers on WordPress. Shout out to all   the people  I’m in  contact with -(here and in my private life).

 

who support me ,

encourage me ,

inspire me,

critise  me or judge me ( I have love for you all)

to embrace fear!

Live for today.  Count your blessings.

Use your skills to become happier and live up to being authentic  to your Self.

I’m a connecter. I like to connect , help, share and learn.

What are you afraid to do?

What kind of person are you?

What makes you truly happy ?

Keep a watch out for  a  new feature to my blog. It’s inspired by the idea of making life less convoluted . 😉

© Copyright Nat

 

 

 

 

Hard work pays off

I think I am going to faint.

TMA 3  results back in for my Masters.

83% a high merit and incredible feedback.

Current score

  • TMA 1 62% (Script genre)

  • TMA 2  82%  (Fiction genre)

  • TMA 3 83% ( Script genre)

Here is the 700 -ish word commentary submitted for my  TMA 3 and the feedback.

I believed I couldn’t do this MA. I believed I was shit at writing but maybe…… with practice I can be a better writer and achieve great things.al.

Using my words to change society -however insignificantly, is a goal of mine.

mahatma-gandhi-almost-anything-you-do-to-help-humanity-will-seem-insignificant-but-its-very-important-that-you-do-it

COMMENTARY TM3 Approaching script writing the Aristotelian way.

My challenge was to write a whole play in 18 minutes. I believe that there is too much exposition and would suit as a longer script. When I cut, or slowed certain dialogue-it’s original appeal became lost to a different type of play. The characters lost what made them unique.  This is where I rely loosely on morality play techniques. This story could have started in many ways. I felt it best to reveal the turning point and the how and why’s at the end of the play. It is linear and has a beginning, middle and end reminiscent of Greek Tragedy plays.

I often use a stream of consciousness technique to get into a writing zone. For scene 1, I started typing on a blank page and let characters come to my head and speak whatever they wanted.  This was how the first scene was produced. I was tempted to discard it until I received positive and constructive feedback on the TGF forum.

A possible subconscious influence for early drafts came from reading the chapter on David Edgars’ how to write a play, (chapter 2 page 17). In TMA 2, I focused on creating characters to reveal the plot and as exposition. Upon reflection, after reading the on-going debate about the primacy of plot versus characters, I think to an extent this true of, e.g., medieval genre morality plays.

Difficulties arose to make the characters more 3-dimensional when using archetypical/universal characters. I relied heavily on a strong plot to drive the narrative and the characters through to the conclusion of the script. TMA3-  plot informed the characters and their motives.

Other influences came from conversations with my blogger acquaintance, Clarissa Simmens( Simmens C. 2017) who is from Roma gypsy descendant, and my own great -grandparent’s lineage who fled the Russian 1918 revolution to live a life in the slums of Paris. The setting and background gave the characters more complex motives and inner conflict. Panacea is an old woman who was left with her second sight and not accepted by society or her Nephew.

In this world, it seems society is lured by visual aids. Vladimir was more ready to accept Eve’s gift of soothing people’s problems because of how she appeared outwardly. Vladimir is complex, he was left with third-degree burns from the 1903 revolution, lost his parents, went to live with his “strange” grandmother.

Hopefully, a writer will get a true sense of Vladimir’s character by the end of the play. He did what he had to do to survive. He is human. Flawed. He didn’t stop and analyse whether he should save baby Eve in the Revolution; instinct took over.  My inspiration for how he and Eve arrived in Paris (maintaining a high-status life during and after WW1) is taken from George Orwell’s book ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ set in 1925.  There is a reference to espionage and a secret Russian society, whom paid people to convert to communism after the war (Gutenberg.net.au. (2017).

The music in the piece serves as a device to vary the pace of the play. I hope that the melancholy moments of when Eve/ Panacea plays will give the audience a time to pause, or at the very least, vary or change the pace of emotion.

Genre: this play is not one type of play. I describe it as an experimental, immersive drama with elements of morality play themes because the characters do indeed impart the audience with a strong message.

Humans are complex. There is a clear theme of choices and consequences.

I don’t want to ignore any doubts about this piece: H.R. made constructive comments on the language and the exposition of the piece (refer to XX FEEDBACK (2017)).   I hope that the timelessness of dialogue and language could very well take place in Paris, or indeed a modern society setting of today. My choice of setting reinforces to emphasise that these stereotypical characters still function inside time. Does Eve deserve her fate? Probably not.

Time has moved on, wars still occur yet society still seems to dwell on escapism i.e. Piano music metaphor to deal with life, dwelling on people who seem to have the illusion of the perfect life/ status. Society still struggles with acceptance of identity, race, ethnicity, mental health status etc. We’ve made advancements in technology/society but what about advancements in what type of human we should strive to be?

 

MY TUTORS FEEDBACK –I have kept her name anonymous for obvious reasons.

PT3Thank you for handing in TMA03.

This TMA accounts for 35% per cent of your continuous assessment mark for the module.

There are three parts to TMA 03:

a creative writing element;
a commentary;
extracts of peer review contributions.

Write a stage script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a radio script ?18 minutes running time.
Write a film script ?18 minutes running time.
Please state clearly on the first page which medium (stage, radio or film) you are writing for.

Your script can be either a stand-alone work, complete in itself, or it can be part of a longer play or film. If the latter, it should be structurally resolved (e.g. it might be a complete act from a larger piece; it should not finish mid-action or mid-scene). If providing a section, provide a summary of the larger project ? no more than 200 words ? situating the submitted section in relation to the larger work and offering some context. This summary will not be assessed in itself, and it won’t feature in the word or page counts.

Your script should not be an adaptation of work by another author or an adaptation of a piece of your own work which has been submitted for an earlier TMA.

This part constitutes 15% of this TMA?s grade.

Write a commentary (700 words) about the process of creating your work, the context in which it was developed, and your relevant further reading.

WHERE YOUR TMA SUCCEEDED

A Fair Wish World is powerful piece about loss, vision (actual sight and second sight), mental health and how war and conflict shapes or rather twists people.  It’s full of big ideas and you work within a very imaginative immersive theatre setting.  Also you have two people, one of whom has apparently saved the other, when it turns out that Vladimir is more reliant on Eve.  History is full of unusually talented women who have surrendered their power to a man (Doris Day’s third husband was abusive and stole her money, Billie Holliday was permanently attracted to abusers).  There’s a link here to the depressing litany of young women and their exploitative lovers, so this theme has a timeless resonance (although Vladimir isn’t a villain).

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-music-industry-men-who-got-away-with-exploiting-female-pop-stars

There is an interesting piece I’ve linked below here about Peter Brook (he’s 91!!) and his latest production – how stripped back and bare it is and how for example a single piece of cloth can represent several things, eg a piece of cloth is twisted into a snake at one point.  This is, in my opinion, a true sense of live theatre, where the audience invests their imagination as opposed to being passive observers – as we are a bit with television. (Also it keeps costs down!)  So your idea of the immersive, promenade production is a good idea as well as showing that you are using the medium of theatre as fully as you can.

https://dctheatrescene.com/2017/03/31/peter-brooks-vision-battlefield-stage-kennedy-center-review/

All the characters resonate, but none more so than Panacea (I’ve got this image of Coco Chanel in my head) and Vladimir, the Russian aristocrat.  Panacea because of her contrasting powers and down to earthiness but Vladimir because it was only a few years since the entire Russian imperial family, the Romanovs with their five children were murdered at Ekaterinburg in 1918.  The British royal family offered mealy mouthed excuses for not offering them shelter but the real reason was they were afraid of a similar revolution in England, as I’m sure you know.  I read the play a couple of times before I read the commentary, so I wasn’t pre informed. I really like the way that Eve can ‘see’ certain things and how when her sight returns, it becomes a curse.  You may to have to indicate this quite strongly to the audience but it’s a bold and exciting idea.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE NEXT DRAFT

I have a few suggestions for the next draft (and I really hope you continue with this play).  Firstly it would be to add some more movement to scene one it as it’s currently a little static.  I’m wondering if Eve could get up from the piano and be doing something – getting dressed perhaps in her evening finery?  Panacea could offer to help her lace her boots or maybe at some point she could loosen Eve’s corset so she can breathe or brush her hair?  You could even have Eve trying to find things which have been placed among the audience – depending on whether you want the audience involved or not.

(I recently went to a promenade production of ‘Jane Eyre’ in a stately home.  At one point, the actress playing Jane had placed the sketches she was going to show to Rochester on a piano and an audience member was leaning on the piano without realising.  There was an awkward un-Bronte moment as Jane tried to yank the sketches from under the audience member’s elbow!)

Because Panacea comes across as a slightly mystical character who just shows up, I wonder if she could be slightly earthier, in contrast to Eve’s more romantic language.   She does have some lovely moments such as her laughter over how useless mirrors are to her, but as much of the play is between her and Eve, and she is a magical creature, perhaps making her the more down to earth seeming would contrast more brightly with her supernatural gifts.  See my L4 comment.

In the final scene there is quite a bit of explanation and it feels just a bit squashed.  With maybe ten or fifteen minutes more you could find a way to blend in the back story a little more but I understand the difficulty of covering an entire play in eighteen minutes.

Overall, I think you’ve written a big, brave play, which tackles big subjects.  It has flaws and needs some development but it’s part of your development as a writer that you take some risks, and personally, I don’t think you can really tell whether a play has legs until you’ve heard it spoken out loud by other people.  But I’ve read it out loud and it packs a punch.

You’ve probably already heard of the London Playwrights Blog but if not, they publish opportunities every week.  There’s no substitute for

COMMENTARY

In your commentary you discuss the process of writing the play, in comprehensive detail including the difficulties, and with references to course materials and a commendably large amount of outside reading.

As this is an MA, a high level of both analysis and presentation is required, and your presentation is fine here.  It can be helpful when you are sick of the sight of your script/story to give it to a trusted friend or at least leave it a while to give yourself some space.

You don’t have to agree with course or outside materials, either, just show that you have reflected on the ideas within and show how they might have affected your own creative choices.    It’s also helpful to explain briefly what you intend to reflect on – such as characterisation, structure and dialogue (maybe picking one area you feel confident in and another where you may feel less confident).  Your tone is good, in that you are aware of your own style and what you are trying to achieve without adopting the I-have-achieved-a masterwork-and-now-I-will-reflect-on-aspects-of-its-awesomeness. Instead your tone is curious and questing and always willing to learn.

Thank you for the peer group references.  You have always been very active on the forums.  Also your references are very good.

I’ve given you a high merit for both the script, and the commentary, an overall high merit pass of 82%  As mentioned, scene one is a little static, and the final scene has a slightly ‘expositiony’ feel, but these are very fixable.  What I would suggest now for the script is to read out loud and perhaps workshop it as the most difficult bit is letting it out of your head and into the mouths and bodies of actors.  You’ve done really well Tasha and taken risks with your writing.  Well done.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.

Kind Regards

MY  TUTOR

I can’t believe it’s Easter already. This will be the first Easter where me and my family don’t go and see my Gran in her care home. I’ve mixed feelings about this.

I don’t get to see my gran – 😦

I don’t have to go into a care home this year 🙂

credit to all the care workers out there who deserve a hike up on their wage. We should invest gratitude and time and resources to the people who look after the vulnerable people in society – in my opinion- of course.

We are all going to my Ma’s house on Sunday (family tradition). Gran will be in our thoughts.

How do other people celebrate Easter?

Happy-Easter-300x182

❤ Daisy xoxo

Fair wish World-scene one

I always used to think I was a bit loopy because I created characters in my head and-and acted them out. My family teased me and people must have thought I had multiple personality disorder (it was the 80s/90’s). My daughter does the exact same thing and I now realise that my mind creates stories and the best way to reveal those stories is by writing them down.

Here is the second draft for my TMA 3. I’ve finished the entire second draft this morning. YAY!

I’ve taken inspiration from the morality plays that were popular in medieval times. I hope that my tutor will see the relevance this play has in the message it sends out despite setting it nearly 90 years ago.

I think that all three characters have a bit of me inside them. I’m working on making the characters more well rounded. The next two scenes I’ve written shows a different side to the characters.

The play is set in the  mid-1920’s -after the World War one and the Russian revolutions.

I want to thank Clarissa @  POETURJA for helping me develop an intriguing plot with her grimoire and insight into her ancestry of being a descendant of the misunderstood Roma Gypsies.

There is still a lot to polish and make it submission and MA worthy

Let me know what you think.

CAST LIST: (so far)

EVE

VLADIMIR- always wears gloves 

PANACEA

THE CROWD- actors and the audience

AMERICAN MAN

AMERICAN WIFE

EUROPEAN WOMAN

LOCATION: Paris, 1925

SUGGESTED STAGE DIRECTIONS (my undeveloped vision) bare stage – (audience act as the crowd for further scenes) are seated in a circle. All action takes place in the centre of the audience. Characters sit amongst the audience or come from behind to enter the performing stage. All props are simulated by actor’s mannerisms and minimal props. A box can be at table, piano, bench.   To evoke sensory surroundings multimedia like audio-piano music/ screens/ lightening etc. used to set the scene example to create the illusion of shadows, or people, to set the mood of the scene.

EVE is already playing as the audience find a seat.

NOTE TO SELF: BE VISUAL include all people who will be in the each scene setting. Hot seat 20 question for characters

SCENE ONE

EVE sits playing the saddest most melancholic piece of music at an old piano, in the jardinière outside. She sits in the centre of the room.THE CROWD sit and stand around her forming a circle. EVE plays on as the audience find a place to sit. EVE is absorbed in playing her music. After some time EVE stops playing. Bangs on the keys of the piano and begins to cry. EVE cries and cries and cries. Nobody comes to her. EVE stops crying.

EVE: Who’s there?  I know someone there is there. Show yourself.

(EVE seems to gaze through the audience. A spotlight comes up and sweeps across the audience illuminating them. The room goes dark. EVE begins to play again –a wild angry, jazzy piece of music.EVE plays until she falls off her chair. From out of the audience PANACEA, plainly dressed in dark colours approaches EVE. PANACEA attempts to help her up)

EVE:      Who are you?

PANACEA:  Hush, I am but an old dear who admires your music.

EVE:      How did you get in here? This is private land. If you are Vladimir’s friend…

PANACEA:  Who? I was merely directed to your playing.

EVE:      I tell you what I told him. No. I won’t do it.

PANACEA;  Do what, dear?

EVE:      You don’t know?

PANACEA:  No. I found the gates open and was guided by your playing.

EVE:      Oh.

PANACEA:  You seem almost… disappointed.

EVE:      I made the right choice. It doesn’t matter.

PANACEA:  A problem halved and all that.

EVE:      Yet I feel so guilty

PANACEA:  You seem /quite

EVE:      I don’t even know who you are. I can’t even….

PANACEA:    As you can see I’m rather old, nothing special – just a mere human – an old lady –nondescript

EVE:      You blend in with the crowd.

PANACEA:  Almost like I don’t exist.

EVE:      But people can see you and you –you can see them?

PANACEA:  Yes. I do and I suppose seeing they do. It is not the same as looking

EVE:      All I want is to be see the people Vladimir says we help.

PANACEA:  You have such a gift. The world must hear this and your face is –

EVE:      He did send you! Times have changed. These new admirer’s talk so strange. So many people are poor. I wonder how we can maintain our standard of living just because I have a gift. How can they just ignore and approve?

PANACEA:  Approve?  I don’t see many who wouldn’t. We do have mirrors nowadays.

PANACEA:  They don’t do me any good.

EVE:      they aren’t much good to me either.

PANACEA:  Who is Vladimir?

EVE:      Someone. Someone who wants the best for me.

PANACEA:  You have had a disagreement?

EVE:      I can’t shift this feeling -Something doesn’t add up. How can one girl ease the suffering of a nation- a world trying to make sense of all the lives lost? All those men dead.

PANACEA:  Is he ONE of those sorts of men?

EVE:      What? A soldier, oh no.

PANACEA:  The Don Juan types.

EVE:      Don Juan? I can’t even visualise what that looks like

PANACEA:  You know- charming, good looking. A bit of a lothario. Gets the blood rushing to the ears.

EVE:      Oh no, nothing like that. (blushes) He’s more of a guardian- a brother of sorts.

PANACEA:  Well, has he hurt you, dear? Roughed you up?

EVE:      No, nothing like that. He cares for me. I owe him all this. I should be begging in the streets for my bread like the rest of them.

(Silence)

EVE:      Hello?   Are you still here?

PANACEA:  Yes dear. I will sit next to you then perhaps you can see better.

EVE:      That is part of the problem.

PANACEA:  Well, turn your face to me. I’m not exactly beautiful as yourself. I get that reaction all the time.

EVE:      I can’t see you.

PANACEA:  You are…

EVE:      Yes. I am –that is why I’m so flaming mad. How can he expect me to be on show? (takes on mock man’s voice) Entertainment is what the new World needs. The old world’s need. We are doing A service to our people, he says. I feel privileged -far too privileged.

PANACEA:  I wish I could feel the world the way you do. It’s unique.

EVE:      That’s the problem. Everyone always goes on about how unique I am. How lacking in sight makes me special. Everyone wants to take my picture with me or listen to my music, but then, soon, people seem to grow weary and they just disappear, and I’m left alone in the darkness again.

PANACEA:  Some people only come out when it’s dark, child.

EVE:      How would I know? My darkness is my light and I have nothing to compare it to.

PANACEA:  I blend in with the world. Just another face in the crowd

EVE:      You sound saddened by it?

PANACEA:  No, it’s just normal.

EVE:      That’s what I want. Normal. I feel everything.

PANACEA:  To see is not-to-not feel.

EVE:      Yes, but there are these things – filters. If I could see maybe, my other senses would be diluted. Not so overpowering. Not so smothering, I feel unbalanced.

PANACEA:  Yes, a woman at odds with her world. I’ve seen years of the world. Felt it too. I often wonder what it would be like if I lacked in sight and well……

EVE:      It’s frustrating. I feel the need to increase all my other senses to make up for what I lack. If I could only see with these eyes, what other people see-

PANACEA:  What will you do about Vladimir?

EVE:      I trust him but he doesn’t understand.  He believes if I could see this world that my beauty would be lost. That me not seeing what I look like and the world looks like is what makes me- this “unique” word. I hate it.

PANACEA:  So, he saved you….

EVE:      from a life living on the streets, from the orphanage. With his business acumen, we are still able to afford all after all the devastation.

PANACEA:  Doesn’t sound like such a bad fella.

EVE:      He’s not. He just doesn’t understand how much I long to see Miss, Mrs?

PANACEA:  Call me Panacea.

EVE:      …Like the word? How droll.

PANACEA:  Yes, I was born with a gift to help those at odds with themselves.

EVE:      You can give me the sight I crave?

PANACEA:  It’s not a simple process. It requires/

EVE:      I don’t care. Name it. I have money. Anything. What is your price?

PANACEA:  Money is useless. The elixir needed to seal this contract is what is known as trading your essence.

EVE:      Essence? my soul?

PANACEA:  Not quite. I’m not the devil. Think of essence as an ingredient. If you barter, your unique essence say- to me. What makes you taste different from the other cookies of the world is your flavour- your essence. You want vanilla. You inherit my essence, I yours

EVE:      I wouldn’t even know where to find my essence. What would I gain?

PANACEA:  you could gain your sight.

EVE:      And you would want to lose yours! why?

PANACEA:  I’m an old dear. I’ve seen enough of the world. You, however, have so much living to do. You have these unique gifts yet you are not happy with them because you can’t see them like the others.

EVE:      You make me sound ungrateful.

PANACEA:  Now that is what you said. Not I.

EVE:      Forgive me. DO you have all your senses?

PANACEA:  (laughs)I can hear you. Your music. I see your apparent beauty. I feel your soft skin, smooth – no wrinkles. Untouched by sunshine. (breaths in to smell EVE)

EVE:      Why are you smelling me?

PANACEA:  I long to use my other senses more…I’m not going to eat you, this is not a fairy-tale

EVE:      I’m sorry. I feel so stupid.

PANACEA:  Never mind, it shows you have a highly active imagination. Much sought after in the world where vision is so vital to be a part of this world.

EVE:      How could you possibly have had enough seeing?

PANACEA:  Maybe it is because I met you. You captivate me.

EVE:      I wish I could see what you mean.

PANACEA:  Maybe your male friend is right. It would ruin you to see the world. (begins to get up)

EVE:      Where are you going?

PANACEA:  Leaving you to work things out. All feelings pass (small pause) eventually.

EVE:      No, that is an untruth. Mine grow. Intensify. Mine never leave. They haunt me day and night. Please don’t leave me alone.

PANACEA:  (sits back down) Will you play again and let me consider your eyes.

EVE:      I can’t see you, though.

PANACEA:  (frustrated)I know a way to access your essence.

EVE:      Panacea you can give me sight?

PANACEA:  If you want it as much as you claim, then perhaps it may work in your favour.

EVE:      Why?

PANACEA:  You question far too much and believe in far too little.

EVE:      Okay, I will play. What do you/ want?

PANACEA:  Play me a song that reveals everything about you to me

(EVE begins to play, looks at PANACEA. PANACEA touches EVES face, her lips and leans into EVE as if to kiss her. EVE stops playing.?

EVE:      What are you doing? You ‘re not one of those Lesbians are you/?

PANACEA:  Does it matter? (laughs) More a Thespian.

EVE:      what does kissing me must do with giving me my sight? I may be blind but don’t mistake that for being a fool.

PANACEA:  Me? Mistake you for a fool. (long pause)

EVE:      I apologise. I /just want….

PANACEA:  Have faith that what we do on this day will give you what you say you desire.

EVE:      I’m scared.

PANACEA:  Scared didn’t win the war.

EVE:      I never thought of it like that. Could we try again?

PANACEA: One more chance. In hindsight, I may change my mind and decide to keep my sight at this rate.

EVE:      No! I mean, it’s yours of course, but I really want to see.

PANACEA:  Let me taste your tears. (leans in to lick EVES tears) Such melancholy. Such innocence…. Play on, child. I must know your name.

EVE:      I can tell you. My name/is…

PANACEA:  (shouts) Don’t speak it. I will find your name. That is how I will find your essence. Now play.

(EVE begins to play, looks in the eyes of PANACEA. While EVE plays, PANACEA licks the tears from her face and begins to suck on the air of EVES parted lips. EVE falls to the floor. PANACEA looks down at her, PANACEA sits at the piano, begins to play a neurotic piece of music. PANACEA finishes the piece, gets up, nudges EVE with her foot.)

PANACEA:  I dedicate this piece to you. The essence of Eve – foolish. foolish Eve. (gets up leaves pushing past the crowd)

(Lights down)

SCENE TWO

(Outside in the garden, EVE sits at the piano playing – she keeps making mistakes. Stops and starts. VLADIMIR paces up and down wears gloves)

VLADIMIR: No. That is not it? Where is the haunting draw, the sweet enchanting forest where we forget all pain? Start again.

EVE:      (hesitates) Can you just listen, please.

VLADIMIR: I am. This is not good enough. (realizes) How many times, Cherie?  You are already behind and the show starts in less than a fortnight.

(EVE begins to play. EVE stops and puts her hands to her forehead. VLADIMIR stops pacing and rushes to EVE)

VLADIMIR:     I know I push you. You know I want the best for you. You have another headache?

EVE:           yes.

VLADIMIR:     (takes a bottle from his jacket) Here take one as precited. This is all nerves. The mind plays horrible tricks on someone who is utterly gifted.

EVE:           But don’t you find it most peculiar? What an unusual woman. It felt so real. Are you sure you didn’t see/her?

VLADIMER:      Mon Cherie, no more with this talk of absurdness’ have a duty to provide for our community. (motions to ENTOURAGE to make EVE presentable) ah, here come the publicity people. (to EVE) Not now, Cherie. Performance face – smile –a little more- higher. Manifique (ENTOURAGE fix makeup and hair, take pictures. Flashes of light and voices commanding EVE what to do. EVE poses then frowns)

PHTOPGRAPHER:  Turn left. No left. Chin up – Aliyah fix her make up. Liberty her hair is not staying static. Eve, place your hands just so. More delicately. Girl, move her into position.

EVE frowns, VLADIMIR with a wave of his hands clears away the entourage. Everything is quiet again.)

VLADIMER:      Cherie, what do you want me to tell you? An untruth. I saw you were fatigued, I found you at the foot of your piano. I picked you up and called on Doctor soigneur immediately.

EVE:           Please, Vlad. I haven’t stopped having nightmares. I don’t feel myself. The boy…He is Everywhere.

VLADIMIR:      And that is precisely why you were to take the prescribed pills for your disorder. We’ve all been through a lot (more patient) I can’t collude with these fantasies.

EVE:          I feel lost. No – I misplaced. Since Panacea, all I see is this boy. I feel more sickness in my heart/than ever.

VLADIMER:      Ha! What a perfect name for someone to help you regain your sight. (laughs) I love your imagination. You cannot grasp how important this next performance is. People ae coming seeking for jubilee, peace, coming from afar, the Americas, England. Important writers, artistes. Don’t you see?

EVE:           No, Vlad, I don’t.

VLADIMIR:      Come repose with me on our favourite bench in the jardinière. We can play our favourite game. (helps EVE up and walks to the bench in the garden both sit down)

EVE:          I don’t want to guess what the colours look like. Everything has become so triste. I know you want the best for me.for our community I – can we stop for today/ I..

VLADIMER:      (Sits EVE down on the bench/VLADIMIRE sits down and admires the Garden) Feel the wind. Smell the fleurs. This always lifts your spirits.

(EVE puts her hands to her cover her face and screams out)

EVE:           Don’t touch me!  (lights flicker in multi colours- EVE stands up and stumbles backwards. VLADIMIR rushes to catch her) Eve, what is it? Control your senses.

(Sounds of houses exploding. Windows shatter, Gun shots. Screams of men, children and women.EVE points to a war zone. EVE starts to run towards the noise of screams)

EVE:           The war. It’s started again. Run. Vlad.

VLADIMIR:      looks around to where EVE is running. Looks confused)

VLADIMIR:      Cherie, calm yourself. There is nothing there. Let’s get you back to your room.

EVE:         It’s happening. I have sight. Can’t you see? Hear?  What is wrong with you? They are shooting innocent people (A woman’s voices cries out as she is being raped. EVE runs to towards the attack, VLADIMIR stops her. There is a struggle, the cry of people burning alive and dying. Silence and then a BOY starts to howl in pain. EVE cries) That boy, he’s in pain. He’s oh – Mon Dieu -is ablaze

VLADIMIR:      Enough! (picks up EVE and attempts to take EVE back inside)

EVE:           There is a boy. He’s on fire. You can’t leave a child. (to DISFIGURED BOY) What is your name child?

VLADIMIR:     (firmly)There is nothing there.

EVE:           Look! That poor boy. (to BOY) It’s okay, we’re getting help.

VLADIMIR:      (looks back and puts EVE down on the piano chair.) Take these. Now.  You need to stop this. You want people to talk. Say how you are a crazy fool.

EVE:           Talk? About what? People dying. Innocent people. We are at war, again. Why did you not summon the staff to help? We were the closest to -that boy.

VLADIMIR:     There is no one there. (shouts). Nothing. No boy on fire. No war, you are hallucinating. Shut up!

EVE:           That boy. (looks up and past VLADIMIR’S shoulder. Frightened she points) There he is, right behind you. His face. (walks towards the DISFIGURED BOY) How can you be alive, child?

VLADIMIR:     Enough! I’m trying to look after you.

EVE|:        (EVE touches VLADIMIR’S face) You know I wouldn’t ever lie to you. The boy is a mess. Disfigured for life. Who will look after him if we don’t? (to the DISFIGURED BOY,in  darkness) Don’t be afraid- We can help you.

VLADIMIR:    (slaps EVE across the face) How dare you! You vexed wrench

EVE:           I’m not crazy. I’ telling you the truth.

VLADIMIR:     Who have you been talking to? Tell me now.

EVE:           Nobody, Panacea. She gave me. I can see…

VLADIMIR:      She must be some spy. I get it now. Oh Merde, alors!

EVE:           A spy? Why would you have spies? That is irrational.

VLADIMIR:      What witchcraft is this? (Grabs EVE’s arms) close your eyes, wretched girl. You ungrateful wretched girl. Everything I’ve done. For you.

EVE:           Why can’t you see him. He’s right behind you.

VLADIMIR:      I forbid you to speak. Spies trying to plot my demise. You see nothing – only what you have ever felt. You see the real me. (places EVES hands on his face)

SCENE THREE Pain

(It is the day of the concerto. EVE is led by VLADIMIR to her piano in the centre of the courtyard. It is a bright day. EVE sits down to play. EVE starts and stops. Composes herself. A collective intake of breath from a crowd. Silence. EVE looks around and then begins to play a song so painful tears stream down her face. There is the wail of cries from THE CROWD. They are being drawn into EVE’S song. The song takes on a hauntingly melancholic tone. MAN cries out from the darkness of the crowd)

MAN:      I thought you were here to light our sorrows not waddle in them

(THE CROWD murmurs in agreement. EVE continues to play. The melody grows more and more melancholic. Then furious and choppy)

MAN:      (to VLADIMIR) What’s wrong with the ole girl, Scar?  I want my heart to forgot about all my woes, little dove. Play something else. Play something else.

CROWD:    (whispers and chants over and over) play something else.

(EVE carries on Tears streaming down her face. VLADIMIR comes into the arena and whispers in EVES ear. EVE changes the tune to a more upbeat piece –one with more cheer and spirit. The crowd cheers- shadows draw closer to her like a moth to a flame. EVE bangs hard on the piano. EVE stands up. She looks to the crowd – the audience and points out at the AMERICAN MAN)

EVE:      How can you delude yourself – when last night your honest and loyal wife questioned you about your whereabouts/ You beat her. That is why she has pain around her eye. (All lights focus on AMERICAN MAN and his WIFE.   WIFE takes a hand to her battered eye to hide it.)

MAN:      What would you know about my whereabouts when you can’t even see?

EVE:      Your wife knows the truth, you should leave her to get on without you.

MAN:      You leave my business to me and you concentrate on yourself on entertaining us. Don’t need some woman thinking.

EVE:      (to WIFE) You know he’s with another. Day and night. He beats you because he knows she will never leave her husband. You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live with this abuse.

MAN:      (shoves  WIFE behind him) how dare you speak such lies.  You are a witch.  A temptress. An evil mark shows itself on you. You may be fair but those exotic features.

EVE:      No. the evil mark likes on you.

MAN:           You are supposed to be blind. What a charade – looks at this trickster (to THE CROWD) How would she know I am in the crowd if she has no sight?

EVE:          I’ve been cursed with sight.

THE CROWD:     (CHANTS) Gypsy! Gyspy! Gypsy

EVE:           I’m not a Gypsy! France is my home. You flock to me to forget about your vices, your impulses, your humdrum existence. I am not your remedy. I play from my heart. My heart sees what it sees.

VLADIMIR:      Eve! Enough, Sit down and play for your welcoming audience. (softer) Now.

EVE:           In my heart, I see your old man and you (she points to EUROPEAN LADY in the crowd)

You! that sparkly watch that doesn’t fit your wrist is from a day haggling at the market. Ripping off fancy men. After this show, you will sell all you have – including your flesh to escape from the world you despise.

LADY:          Trollope- we’ve heard the rumours Gypsy girl .

VLADIMIR:      My esteemed friends. – this is but part o the show. An experimental piece, if you like. Our eve here is tired. the gifted do sometimes have a bit of those head malaises, non?

EVE:           You all pour your sorrows into me-I can only play what I see and feel and this is what you will hear tonight.

VLADIMIR:      sit down (THE CROWD jeer at EVE. VLADIMIR forces EVE down into her seat.) Play. Do your job.

(EVE sits still, the light is dim, so dim and when she begins to play again she pounds at the keys with anger, cholere. EVE cackles sneers – kicks at the piano in rage)

EVE:           Damn you  – all of you!   I’m not your plaster. I’m not your cure. I am a young woman who absorbs all your pain. I want to be free. free. Go all of you.

(Silence)

VLADIMIR:      apologies friends.  You heard of her fall. The accident? she has been unwell. (EVE doesn’t look at him or the crowd – she walks out of the circle of the crowd and into the dark. A moan comes out that doesn’t sound human.  An animal sound of a cow being slaughtered. EVE stands and looks past VLADIMIR’S shoulder)

EVE:           Panacea!   You. What did you do to me?

VLADIMIR:      (carries on trying to calm the crowd) Please, apologies. She is ill. She – I will make sure you all are reimbursed for this terrible, I mean uneventful experimental performance.

EVE:           Don’t just stand there. You lied to me. You lied. What is this curse you give me? Why?

(PANACEA comes out from the shadows and walks through the crowd and past VLADIMIR and EVE and sits down at the piano and begins to play that frenetic piece of music – ‘Eve’s Essence’. VLADIMIR freezes and goespale. The CROWD quieten.)

VLADIMIR:      How?

EVE:           My song. (runs towards PANACEA) Give me back my essence-evil woman.

VLADIMIR:      (catches hold of EVE by the arm) How can you know this song?

EVE:           Now? Now you can hear what I hear. Why not what I see, your stupid fool of a man. Look! I implore thee.

VLADIMIR:      (To EVE) Enough with these games. What is it you want from? Tell me. Who corrupted you?

EVE:           That is my song. My essence. She is playing my song.

VLADIMIR:      Your song. Ha!  Who told you? Don’t make me strike out at you again.

EVE:           You know this song?  I’ve tried to remember since Panacea stole it from me. Sight she promised. A gift. A trade off. I’ve been bamboozled.

VLADIMIR:      Don’t make me turn around and march over to that damn piano and chop it up then burn it. I gave you everything. After everything I did for you – for us. This. (THE CROWD is silent. Shadows of THE CROWD draw to PANACEA playing ‘Eve’s essence’.

EVE:           I’m not doing anything. Please, Vlad. I would never hurt you.

VLADIMIR:      Who found you at the orphanage? Took you in? promised to nurture you? Who promised to take care of my blued eyed Fair haired gypsy girl?  you betray me- like this.

EVE:           Gypsy girl?

VLADIMER:      I can never forgive you. This is not the girl I knew. You are ruined.

EVE:           Vlad, (looks over at PANACEA, eyes widen) Why is that boy there?  ( to DISFIGURED BOY) come here. Stay away from her.  (to VLADIMIR) Why is that boy close to her. He is beckoning you….

VLADIMIR:      (begins to cry) You can’t do this to me.

EVE:           Do what? See with your own eyes. Don’t do this to me! Make me out to be a mad vexed woman.

(PANACEA stops playing, abruptly.)

PANACEA:       Don’t be afraid boy. (VLADIMIR jumps in fright) You can’t escape who you are. Don’t worry I can assure you I can’t see. Not even your bloodied parents anymore.

EVE            What are you? What is she talking about?

PANACEA:        You were all I had… you deserted me. And I’m evil? I didn’t choose this gifted curse. I was born with it – Just like Eve except she saw nothing

VLADIMIR:      No, you are not real. I don’t believe it. (to EVE) Stop torturing me. You are playing with me.

PANACEA:       Boy. I don’t blame you for leaving the revolution but to leave a lady to those priggish animals and steal my money.

VLADIMIR:      Shut up You evil wrench. I left you for dead. It’s impossible. That was my family’s inheritance.

EVE:           Impossible? what’s impossible? How do you know this creature? Answer me. Who is she?

VLADIMIR:      No woman in your condition could have survived – in those conditions. I refuse to /believe this.

EVE:           You know her. (PANACEA laughs)

VLADIMIR:      These are… Eve, these are extraordinary circumstances I find myself in. Stop laughing your old cow. Stop it. (PANACEA begins to play ‘Eve’s essence’)

EVE:           These are certainly not circumstances I foresaw.  If you know something about this then spit it out or damn you both to hell.

VLADIMIR:      (quietly)We never spoke of –well, I demanded that when I took you as my own we would never talk about how I found myself in that orphanage.

EVE:          You are an honourable man. Are you not?

VLADIMIR:      You were born in Romaine. The orphanage-  was both of our home’s. Few places like that are kind and they were, especially during those times. Our country was in flames. Blood everywhere. Corpses. Vile acts. There you were- abandoned.

EVE:           No.

VLADIMIR:      We survived. You were a baby. I didn’t know you were impaired. I knew what our people would do to a fair-haired Roma like yourself. We escapNo-one-one would suspect us, they said. They promised freedom, n new life. All I must do was help smuggle in weapons.  You were the only one who wasn’t frightened of me. You only saw the good in me. Your lack of sight was my rebirth- our rebirth

EVE:           Lies. Obsession with fame and my looks and glory and… I thought I was helping people.

VLADIMIR:      You are. You were… The world with eyes is a hell of its own, I tell you. Your greatest gift was to give your heart to those who so desperately needed to forget – what they see- have seen.

PANACEA:       Boy. How long are you going to drag this out? Get on with it. We shall make a man out of you yet.

EVE:           (to PANACEA) Who are you?

VLADIMIR:      (softly)My grand mere – she was – is (turns around see’s PANACEA is horrified) is… but how?

Silence

PANACEA:       No, boy. I’m not a ghost, not a witch just cursed with unusual gift of seeing the past of every filthy boar piggish human. Yes, what are the odds? I should never have been discovered but life has its twists… and magic of sorts.

VLADIMIR:      I didn’t mean to leave you.

PANACEA:       I have been waiting for the right moment. Biding my time.  Waiting to sense what kind of man you become- and Eve was truly a find.

EVE:      you can’t see, Grandmere. Only the.

PANCEA:   Past- I struck a deal with mad Bolshevik. I got more than I bargained for. The senile old man missed his wife –wanted to live in the past and I would settle for the future – we merely wanted it so much –we got what we wished for.

EVE:      What have you inflicted me with?

PANACEA:  How he adores you, loves you. You see Eve. Vladimir for all his grandiose gestures is superficial. Not the benevolent man he pretends to be.

VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere stop. I’m sorry. I was a child…

PANACEA:  (ignores VLADIMIR) The only reason people accept him is because of you. Or what you had. Beauty, innocence, the gift to soothe all pain from others with your playing.

EVE:      No, he has been there for me.

PANCEA:   If you had eyes like I now do or indeed like the rest of this crowd you would see he is a monster. A disfigurement. You were his key to this fickle world accepting him.

EVE:      What is she talking about?

VLADIMIR: Grand’Mere I was haunted by your recantations of my dead family. You terrified me. I still don’t understand this curse.

PANACEA:  Maybe you understand it a little better now – it is your curse too. Life is all about lessons and there is as lesson to be learned here. Something about appearances etcetera etcetera… but what do I know? (starts to play – THE CROWD are lured by PANACEA’S playing, under a spell)

VLADIMIR: You must restore her. Grand’Mere –she is innocent. Please.

PANACEA:   We all are at some point.

EVE:      I wanted it so much. I wanted to see. How wrong was I?

VLADIMIR: give it back. Give Eve what is rightly hers. It’s me you seek to punish

PANACEA:  (stops playing) Stop trying to fight it. You know what you really want to do.

VLADIMIR: She is an innocent

PANACEA:   Used by the likes of you, boy.

VLADIMIR: I can take care of you. I have money, estate everything. Let me make it up to you.

PANACEA:  Doesn’t work like that. I’m not some conjurer. I was merely born into this world with my fate and somehow that fate changed. I haven’t the answers.

EVE:      But I don’t want this sight. I don’t want it.

PANACEA:  Those touched can’t ever be untouched again.

VLADIMIR: But you. You see.

PANACEA:   Keep up. I saw the future. Now I see nothing. Just like Eve. I feel and I play and I have what I want.

EVE:      But if you can see the future, how is it I can see the past?

PANACEA:  Obviously, I should have taken you for a fool. I think you are missing the point. I don’t decide how the universe decides. I saw an opportunity and I took it. I’m merely human after all. (starts playing again)

(EVE and VLADIMIR look at each other)

VLADIMIR: I’m sorry Eve. I was…

EVE:      I can’t bear to live like this.

VLADIMIR: Yes. Life is…. You didn’t have to see that.

EVE:      We can’t undo this? (unwillingly moves towards PANACEA.)

VLADIMIR: I’m sorry, mon Cherie but I can’t stop myself much longer. I must forget. I must forget if only for a while.

(VLADIMIR walks up to PANACEA and strokes her hair, kisses her, then listens to her play.

EVE:      You can’t leave me. I can’t do this. Panacea please! (starts walking closer and closer to soft music) I will never forgive you but alas, I can’t fight this pain any longer. Make it go it away. (slumps at the feet of PANACEA who plays on. lights down.)

IF YOU MADE IT TO THE END. I SALUTE YOU 🙂

 

(copyright Daisy Willows/ Natasha Bodley)

 

Acting program Devising- bleeding the genres

This has been the best week yet on the Acting program.

We did a fantastic improvisation inspired by Laban’s 8 efforts and movement.

This technique was originally used in dance performance.

From my ahem “intellectual” reading on post-modern performance. Most contemporary artists prefer to think of the theory part of writing and performance as not prescriptive but fluid and as something to provoke the imagination.

The theories exist to be used to merge into something that is relevant to today.

This program is far away from what I’m learning on my MA and this is my struggle with what I’m doing in my MA because, we as an ensemble – group of amateur actors are working towards devising a performance not based on text.

Back to Laban – the whole purpose of the exercise was to move forward and start thinking more about character development. How many ways can an actor develop their character?

For me, it helped me focus more on my physical body and what I could do with it, to create a character with emotional depth.

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This is  the exercise we did:

THE TECHNIQUE

Laban categorized human movement into four component parts:

  • Direction

  • Weight

  • Speed

  • Flow

Each of those parts has two elements:

  • Direction is either direct or indirect.

  • Weight is either heavy or light.

  • Speed is either quick or sustained.

  • Flow is either bound or free.

Laban then combined these parts together to create The Eight Efforts:

  • Wring

  • Press

  • Flick

  • Dab

  • Glide

  • Float

  • Punch

  • Slash

For WRING

  •  The Direction is Indirect

  • The Weight is Heavy

  • The Speed is Sustained

  • The Flow is Bound

https://www.theatrefolk.com/blog/the-eight-efforts-laban-movement/

I loved how I explored character development using my voice, my body and employing Laban’s technique to create a character.

I chose the movement to ‘wring’  and what stemmed from that incongruent action was a character called -Prushka who ended up in an improvisation scene with another character (his chosen action  Punch) who became my workaholic husband with a temper.

We did a short improv scene in pairs of threes.

Us the couple were arguing about our relationship and where it was headed when the third character (developed from the movement of ‘flick ) interrupted us.

Her drugged up character was stumbling across the streets asking where she was. We ended the scene by my character telling my character’s husband we had grown apart and it was over.

I went to help the drugged up girl get on a bus and get home. Instead of dealing with the confrontation – a stake was thrust into the scene and as a Wring character, I made the decision guided by my body movements to leave the relationship and avoid the angry, punchy husband.

Sounds complicated.

I’m sure there is a much more simplified way to describe all this but I have never been one to simplify anything!

This acting program has got me thinking about finishing my MA somewhere else. Sad but true.

As a group,  we seem to be gelling more and getting to know each other.

It looks like we will be devising a piece to perform to a public at the end of March.

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Sat on the train, typing this post and I  can’t wait to get home.

Weird guy with bouffant hair sitting opposite me and staring at me like I’ve got an abscess growing on my nose. 😂😂.

I’m currently redrafting  TMA 3.  I’ve strayed into morality play /Faustian territory purely by accident.

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The piece is set after the 1918 Russian revolution ,in Paris.

RANDOM FACT-  my great grandparents fled the 1918 Russian revolution changed their surname and went to live in the slums of Paris. That is where my Grandad was born. 

 I have three characters who have some of my character traits and a mish mash of other lovely people’s traits I have come across in my life.

Panacea wants to be accepted by family and society: Vladimir by society.  The other character, Eve -has the love and adoration of the society she lives in because of her talent to play captivating pieces of music on the piano.

She has it all except she lacks conventional sight.

With a wee bit of determination and vengeance, Panacea takes Eves essence (talent) and Vladimir’s only access to power and being accepted by his peers is now in the hands of Panacea.

Eve is left with a second sight not normal sight.

I don’t know how magic works!

She can only see the past.

 Things start getting tense when she starts seeing things:

Horrific things.

She starts seeing people’s past actions. Not the good but all the skeletons that people hide away or try to forget by drugging themselves- insert vice of choice here.

Vladimir- her guardian is clearly hiding something.

How are Eve’s past visions connected to him?

Why won’t he tell Eve?

The climax and resolution of the final scene, see the loose ends of the plot coming together and finally, we see how all three characters fit together.

I’m not saying any more than that.

Both Eve and Vladimir ( who seem like the victims of a salacious act by Panacea)  lose everything they wanted and indeed had.

The music threaded throughout the piece (which initially draws the crowd to adore  Eve and propels her to ‘stardom’ )seems to serve as a metaphor for the vices which society still use today to forget and self-medicate.

The somewhat pantomime-like, sarcastic Panacea, in scene one, is a character, I hope my tutor can sympathize with at the end of the piece- with her revelation.

Her motives are utterly selfish and human.

But finally, she is accepted and her nephew is forced to love and adore her because she has the essence and power to help not only society. but also Vladimir forget who he actually is.

Ha ha!  What a raucous.

 Well, it’s all a been a bit of fun trying out new writing styles. Writing should be fun and not some Herculean labor (which it does seem to be at times)

 As long as I pass I will be happy.

 Daisy- ‘the entrepreneur in progress’ is moving forwards in my business.

 That’s a bit of an update from me. My stop has arrived. I’m tired cold and I want to see my family.

I have blogging awards to accept and nominations to do and look forward to catching up on blogs over the week.

I may barricade myself in my bedroom over the weekend and devour every post/blog  I come across.

Have a great week!