Guest Blog Post: Dylan Frankland on The House Never Wins

Kill The Cat is touring virtually with their THE HOUSE NEVER WINS, a game-based show gambling with the future of  the planet. Catch it on Wednesday 21st October at 7pm and 9pm! Book here

In this blog post, Dylan Frankland, the co-artistic director of the company, talks about making theatre whilst in lockdown and actually enjoying a tech rehearsal. 

It’s 6pm on the 8th May. We log into zoom to chat to our producer. She’s asked us to do a tech run- normally a tech run in a theatre lasts ages but we’re expecting this to be rapped up in a out 45 minutes, an hour tops- after all we can’t really do a tech run properly when we have no theatre, no ‘script per say’ and we’re hosting an interactive game experience over zoom- surely the only bit of tech is ‘log into zoom’?

5 hours later we are finished and our to do list for the next day has got larger.

Turns out there is quite a lot you can do in a tech run. Even when you’re not in a theatre.

But normally when doing a tech run by this point I’m a bit frustrated, or grumpy because lets face it tech runs are HELL.

But this time I’m not. Because it turns out that despite tech runs being HELL they’re actually everything I didn’t realised I missed about theatre. And it’ this more than anything else on this project that has cemented this as theatre.

Because the familiar ritual of painstakingly going through the script cue to cue, tweaking the lights and sound level reminds us of the theatricality in the piece which separates it from just another zoom call.

But more importantly than that, it’s the ability to creatively spend time with another person whilst doing that. Because it’s people who make up theatres and amongst all of the discussing lights, and screenshares of videos we then get distracted and end up gossiping about cancelled weddings and sharing photos from a friend who has just bought a dog only to find out within a week that they’d bought a pregnant dog and now they have many many doggos.

And this has been so necessary! Because performing from home is just weird. We do a show and then come out of the dining room where we’ve bundled ourselves away and there’s Mads’ parents (who have very kindly allowed us to take over their house to rehearse and perform in) finishing an episode of Masterchef, it’s not the same as coming out into the theatre bar, pumped up on adrenaline, chatting and laughing to everyone about how well/badly the performance has just gone.

Instead we’re still full of adrenaline but we make a cup of tea and start cooking dinner.

So whilst we’re all out there, creating work from our homes that can be made and enjoyed online, let’s remember to not lose that sense of community along the way- so if you ever want people to sit through a tech run, or work in progress or meet up for a virtual coffee to chat though ideas, then feel free to get in touch ([email protected])

Also livestreams are great an all, but can we set up zoom after show bars please?Dylan Frankland

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