Becky, one of the actors sat on a chair in the middle of Sterts theatre. We, the writers, clustered around her in a semi circle.
We watched silently as she became the old lady we’d been shown in the picture. The lady whose arm was held to the sky, asking for something but looking too fragile to know whether she’d ever live to receive it.
For my past two Feeding experiences, I’ve been making my way to Minions, a small village right at the heart of Bodmin moor. I’ve been gathering information, building a sense of place and having a go at following the path of what will become Audiotor; a GPS mapped audio walking adventure, that – together with five other writers, musicians, actors and technical wizards –I’m involved in creating.
At one point I’ve even managed to get myself hopelessly lost on the moor, holding my hand a metre from my face only to watch it disappear, swallowed in a cloud of wet fog.
This time my visit to Minions was to attend an Audiotor creatives’ workshop, to piece together all our processes. Under the guidance of project director Michael White and with a dramaturg and two actors to breathe life to our words, we drew on our own experiences of the moor. Delving deep into the emotions that the wild open space conjures up, we pieced together fragments from our imaginations and then watched with awe as characters were dreamt up before our eyes.
Throughout the day, we saw our stories come to life through the actors’ minds, mouths and bodies. We looked on as they read our words in the style of a bird, a sheep, and my particular favourite, a stone. Working with writers in this collaborative way was a process totally new to everyone, and by the end of the day we’d realised what worked and what didn’t.
We were ready to take our moulded thoughts home with us and turn them into something special. It was time for the storywriting to begin.