Black Country Calling – Friday 17th August

This blog was written by Sabrina Nabi, a drama graduate from Wolverhampton University, and one of three shadow artists involved in Back in 10. 

For more information about Back in 10: http://bctouring.co.uk/portfolio_page/backin10/

You can still watch the Live Stream video of all Back in 10 performances: https://www.facebook.com/BCT2013/

 

For the third week, the devised work was centred around Old Birmingham Road, which consists of a few stores including Gripton’s Radio Store and Harthill Motorcycles. We decided to look at the evolution of technology. The radio was one of the first pieces of technology to bring a new age of music and news reporting, from around the world; including places like Tokyo, Moscow and Milan. We imagined how the people of the Black Country must have felt excited about this technological future.

This new piece, ‘Black Country Calling’, resonated with me quite a lot because I feel the way technology is progressing can be both positive and negative. The themes we explored are really relatable to audiences living in today’s age, which for me is important. I wanted audiences from a range of backgrounds and ages to connect and find this work interesting yet relevant.

I also loved working on a piece that was funny! Comedy is a great way to make connections to people and to introduce new topics. It was also great to devise a comedy because it allowed everyone to bring some new ideas to the table. We were inspired by slapstick and comedia de larté – there is an essence of these styles within the performance we created.

The decision for what location we chose was made early on and of course that was going to be Gripton’s Radio store. From this we then pieced together a story line that involved a missing radio, an Indian Princess and a robbery. We were adamant to make Dave, one of the artists in the project, turn up on a motorcycle halfway through the performance. It’s safe to say we made this happen!

The Indian princess was a character based off a real story involving two brothers from Wolverhampton who happened to marry two Indian princesses, this story was interesting to all of us so we were sure to add an element of this into the story.

As the devising process went on we all wrote and created characters and story plots that really captured the comedy we were aiming for. This whole week has been eye opening for me as a performer and given me the confidence to write and create stories.