Starting Blocks blog: Susan and Adam

First up, if you’ll allow us to blow our own trumpet(s) for a second, we are delighted to announce that our bid to Arts Council England National Lottery Grants for the Arts, for Matador(a), has been successful.

The grant is not only a huge morale boost but also a very necessary financial boost that will allow us to fully commit our time and energy to the important final weeks of this brilliant scheme, Starting Blocks, at Camden People’s Theatre.

Now, what have we been up to…rehearsal-halfway

This week we’ve been walking a slack-rope between cutting satire and bad taste. We have some prior experience of this. When we did a scratch of Matador(a) at the Battersea Arts Centre in November last year we showed a video of something that not everyone was particularly happy about being made to watch. So much so, in fact, that when the audience were asked to write feedback after the show one disgruntled audience member simply jotted down the words “Fuck you”. So yeah, that was nice.

But it got us thinking – what can and can’t you say or do onstage? If it’s okay to kill a bull in front of an audience, surely everything else is fair game?

We’re not looking to offend just for the sake of offending. Rather, in Matador(a), we are consciously and deliberately provoking an audience to feel things that don’t necessarily sit comfortably with them. Can you make an audience feel empathy for a snail? Can you be flippant about a dying relative? Can you make jokes about 9/11? Well, we’ll soon see won’t we…