In our latest Guest Blog, Timothy Trimingham Lee, Associate director and dramaturg of There but for the grace of God (go I) writes about discovering ideas, first encounters with the work and what they’ve discovered through creating the performance.
You can catch the latest from Adam Welsh, co-founder of award-winning theatre company Dead Centre, from Tue 5-Wed 9 December at 7pm. Click here for tickets.
…that hope is not a thing
with feathers that hope is a thing with a fist a thin
crust sketched over oceans that hope is what despair
uses for bait come in hope says the water’s fine
that hope is the blood with which you write letters
that start dear sea dear ocean stop asking so fucking
— Leslie Harrison
When we describe using the internet, the term “searching” is often used. There is an active investigation of documents. Or maybe we are “surfing” on the waves of a sea, of images, gifs, words, videos, and numbers. Both are active pursuits, yet one is targeted, perhaps, on an outcome, while the other implies traveling over bridled yet potentially hazardous elements.
As theatre makers we can find odd places for the beginnings of an artistic process. Often that place these days is the internet, the labyrinth to be searched or the ceaseless, unpredictable sea. Adam Welsh found a story on his computer and that story led him to examine his own. We have an instinctual attraction for narrative and yet we often rarely stop to unspool our own development and how closely our parents play a part in the weaving of it.
Adam sent me an early draft of this piece, which I struggled to connect with. It turned out there was even an earlier draft that was more revealing in his hunt for self as he researched the disappearance of a child an ocean away. The material was brave and personal and uncertain. It communicated the disorientation we often look to find in art that so mirrors our own in life when we allow ourselves to feel it.
I was so happy to work with Adam on There but for the grace of God (go I), because it often felt like we didn’t know where we were going as we explored form, the conversation between current and outmoded technologies, and the gulf between both parents and children and the living and the dead. The journey was scary but enervating as we unpacked how we choose to remember what we’d rather forget, gave voice to long-buried feelings, and attempted to find meaning in the seeming cruelty of fate.
We learned there are connections where we are patient enough to find them. We found that the missing never really go away. And we discovered that childhood cannot be shed even if home remains elusive.
We hope you enjoy the show and thank you for journeying with us.
By Timothy Trimingham Lee, Associate director and dramaturg.