Thursday, 28 July 2016

Epic Improvising Storytelling

inspired by: 
the Kathakali Dance Drama of South India 
Tibetan Buddhist ritual performance 
the improvising storytelling poets of Upper Egypt 
the Vaudeville theatre of Scotland 
the Theatre of Lindsay Kemp
Giles Havergal’s Glasgow Citizens Theatre Company

Laurance Rudic is a self-taught Scottish theatre artist who has been exploring holistic process in acting for much of his life. For almost a quarter of a century, he was a leading player with an innovative and internationally-renowned repertory theatre company – The Glasgow Citizens. The company was run by a triumvirate of directors: Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald, who employed young actors for their passion and creativity rather than technique. Rudic joined the company at the age of 19 and set out to explore a non-dualistic way of playing which was intuitive and of the present moment. Since first coming to teach in Egypt 16 years ago, he has continued to expand and refine his process using a wide variety of physio-philosophical methods which he terms ‘technologies of the self’. These include somatic yoga, hypnosis and ideokinesis, all of them designed to increase the actor’s awareness of self and to bring about an authentic living presence. He has also worked in other UK companies including Ian McKellan’s company at the Royal National Theatre in London where he played Trofimov in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard; and in Brecht’s Mother Courage in London’s West End with Glenda Jackson in the title role. 

"Nothing is hidden, as the rug he rolls out at the start of his voyage becomes the nearest thing resembling any kind of safety net, emotional or otherwise. In truth, it represents a magic carpet ride taking a brief, purging respite from all the turbulence encountered en route. Somewhere along the way, he becomes a stunning performer, first with flamboyant provocateur Lindsay Kemp, then as the Citizens' most adventurous arbiter of truth. Fragile, vulnerable and all but reliving past pleasures and pains, Rudic swoops nervily from moment to moment with reckless honesty, but without any of the afflictions of confessional indulgence of the worst kind. Exposed as he is, Rudic's warts and all self-portrait is a thrillingly intimate experience." Neil Cooper - Herald

A small boy was given a drum. He banged it all day long from the moment he woke up until he went to sleep. Everyone was driven mad by the noise. Earplugs were handed out. Doctors and scholars were called in to try and get him to stop. Nothing worked. Eventually a wise man came to visit. He handed the boy a hammer and chisel and said, "I wonder what is INSIDE the drum?"