Tag Archives: Simon Edwrads

The Theatre of the Future – Interview with Simon Edwards 

We, both of us, Marian and I have been aspiring to create what Lecoq was calling for, many  years ago, which was to go out and create the theatre of the future.

Well, now here we are in the future, and here at The Actors Space, whenever we do any work on a daily basis, session by session basis, incredible work comes out every time. It feels like we’ve been gathering different exotic fruits in different places, with different participants, and also our own different perspectives, rooted in Lecoq’s work, the person who brought us together. When the audience experience THAT it can be a very rich and very powerful human experience. And that for me is the joy of theatre. 

THE AUDIENCE AND THE STORIES 

Listen to the audience, listen to that whisper inside that is guiding you to take another step. It’s not overreaching, it’s like just another little step.

And then trust, as well, the inner voice that goes “ooh, ooh”. When there’s that egomania that’s around sometimes with us, you need to be protected. Masks are a great example because they form a front in one way, as to who we seem to be and also as a protection. 

But again what’s more important is the thing that’s behind the mask because in the end the work that happens through acting, or creating characters or stories, or even the mask work, or the clown work is about what’s beneath the superficial.

The depth of existence is huge. It’s obvious, it doesn’t even need to be said. But when we share the work, drama or comedy, it can be discovered. In the work in relation to the others… Life itself is a miracle, so when you’re on stage having a blast you’re reflecting part of that miracle for the audience member who’s there. And remember they may be going through terrible times, they may be going through the loss of a loved one, they may be passing away themselves. So your work has to be as, without falling into perfectionism, as rigorous as possible, as disciplined as possible and as respectful as possible to yourself and to them, and it’s a simple contract:

Tell stories and have a wonderful time together. As soon as fire was discovered, around the campfire there became the need to tell stories. It’s as old as that. Because in that human wisdom is passed on. 

And what we’re about, definitely, is about underneath the mask and you don’t have to be brilliant, you don’t have to be talented, you don’t have to be any of those things, or any of those concepts one would have about themselves, either in a positive way or in a negative way. Just somebody coming along and having fun and wanting to explore human nature. And the nice thing is that it’s not about “Oh my God, my nature”. It’s not reflecting back on me, it’s human nature. It’s much more about the audience, one in the audience than about the actor and their complexes and hang-ups. 

And that’s a terrain that I reckon (and Lecoq was pointing at it rather a lot) that was the misunderstood Stanislavski work. Stanislavski’s work is very interesting. But a lot of the time people are looking into traumas and problems, and things that are locked up in their body, and they’re trying to regurgitate them into the dramatic scene. And it’s like “for goodness sakes, just be present in the scene”. And things will come out naturally. The character will have that journey and that experience. You don’t have to put yourself there, self-sacrificing to show how good an actor you are and how emotive you can be. That always gets in the way. 

And, in fact, in life, often the most emotional and powerful stuff is when people stop their emotions, stunt their emotions, for whatever reason. And then what happens, as long as the audience gets the feeling that’s beneath that mask, that’s what’s important. It’s not about an emotional display of fireworks and tears, or how great an actor or emotive a person can be. It’s about the audience having a poetic journey.

These are extracts from an interview made by Natacha Elmir. You can listen to Simon on this page. 

There are some places still available on this summer workshops. Contact marian@actors-space.org if you are ineterested.

Celebrating 20 years at The Actors Space

Come and celebrate at The Actors Space, near Barcelona!

Dramatic Writing 24th-29th July (fully booked)
The Creative Actor 2nd-10th August
The Art of Comedy 14th-22nd August
Screen Acting 26th August-3rd September (only a few places available)

 

What do you want to say?

Marian Masoliver Director/Teacher of The Actors Space

In an era where the ‘do it your self’ is possible and happening more and more, I ask a question to creators of Theatre and Film: What do you want to say? And, does it come across? It is an obvious question but let’s think about it: I am going to be putting a lot of energy, time and money in a project that will be, hopefully, received by an audience. I need to consider them! Is it interesting and is it understandable?

As the late great script writer Blake Snyder used to say “a film script should be understandable by a cave man”, Ugg…!!!

It was a privilege to host Blake when he came to run a Script Writing workshop at The Actors Space in 2008. See ‘Save the Cat’, his practical book on script writing structure.

The question ‘what do you want to say?’ is an important one. And more so these days, there is so much to say!!! Theatre and Film has always acted as a mirror of life itself.  What is going on? What do we need to think about? What are the priorities of a Human Being? Simple but so important…

One cannot separate acting from writing and directing. We call it the Creative Triangle, a powerful principle…

There are only some places left on the International Theatre and Film Acting workshops at The Actors Space