Thursday, 24 March 2016

Clockwork Dramaturgy: Katrice Horsley @ CCA

A 90 minute show that explores the corsetry of social constructs upon the human form. Meet the Wordsmiths who each night chant their words of power and enchant our dreams as a consequence. Meet Nousha, a young girl who experiences sound in a different way to others and meet Edna, a woman so old she has a pubic comb-over but who knows the importance of belly laughter in our development as human beings.

What was the inspiration for this performance
My main inspiration was working with young people who saw themselves as lacking due to the social narratives that exist with regards to beauty, success and status. I wanted to do something to redress. One of the main themes in my work as a narrative consultant is to do with becoming the narrator of your own life. This performance is very much about that. 

Also I have a form of synaesthesia, that I thought would be interesting to include. The last inspiration was all of the older woman who were around to help shape me into the woman I am now. This show is very much a celebration of their ribald humour and infinite wisdom.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
There is not team - just me.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I was looking a lot at Rabelaisian humour and linking that to the Goddess Baubo - I wanted to explore what that means to us as a connection point in a world where we are supposed to be ‘sophisticated,’ and how that was seen as better than crudity.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
I call myself a percolator - I have one little idea/concept float up from the depths of my unconscious and into my imagination - I put it onto the the shore of possible working island - then I wait and another idea floats, and I place it on the the shore, and another and another, until I start to piece the fragments into whole structure. Then I start to add the poetry, the links, the sensual language.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I want them to feel. I want them to resonate with the plight of the characters, to laugh, to feel despair, to recognise themselves within it all, to start to question how they came to believe what they think is true about themselves.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
I wanted an emotional palette to work with. Quite often, if you have laughter you can then plunge deeper into despair, people know they will come up for air so they are willing to plunge fully in with you.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
There are 3 very traditional stories within the main frame narrative, so I would see this piece as traditional storytelling.

Once called the 'soul-diva' of storytelling, Katrice is a captivating performer who has a range of specific one-woman shows as well as a repertoire of over 300 traditional stories from all across the globe.

In her performances she enjoys taking people out of their comfort zones - just for a while - before returning them into the safety of being an audience member again!

Some of her work can challenge assumptions made about fairy tales - you will never look at Beauty and the Beast in the same way again! She has performed around the U.K. and overseas in theatres, schools, Literature Festivals and National Parks.

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