Catching the Next Wave
Now that I’ve officially brought this news section back up to date, I can talk in greater depth about more recent developments – and even look ahead a little bit. Because here’s the thing. Ever since the world turned upside down last year I’ve been feeling an increasing sense of responsibility and urgency to make sure that this flip-side of the world, whilst still fresh and unspoiled, is designed with great care and empathy. There’s an opportunity for all of us to head in a positive direction, to learn from mistakes we have made and ensure that we don’t just survive as a species but thrive in harmony with the planet we inhabit. In a year that has brought so much uncertainty and despair to so many, I’ve welcomed any initiatives that offer diverse and refreshing perspectives to a narrative of both science and faith, vulnerability and compassion, resilience and defiance.
You can imagine that I was delighted to have been invited as a guest on season 8 of the podcast Catching the Next Wave, hosted by Aga & Łukasz Szóstek. Their aim with the podcast is to investigate and synthesize the different perspectives on leadership and its challenges in tomorrow’s world: from organizational and technological challenges, to social, environmental and personal challenges. The latest season is centered around the theme of intuition and features interviews with people from a very diverse range of backgrounds offering their unique perspectives on it. Aga, Łukasz and I had a very nourishing conversation about the craft and life of an actor, creativity in a broader sense, lifelong learning and much more. It is also the first time I’ve spoken publicly about Gradual, the project that has provided me with an overwhelming sense of purpose. I’ll talk about this in greater detail in time to come, because I’m in this for the long haul. Meanwhile, you can check out the podcast embedded below, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or any other platform of choice.
In what was the second edition of an event that was originally set up as an uplifting response to a pretty grim and unclear outlook on the future of theatre, I gathered a panel of international speakers and performers so that we could all be inspired by historical movements, innovative research, contemporary examples of productions and new community building initiatives, so that any challenges that await creatives and communities can be dealt with an optimistic and defiant response. The future of the theatre experience should come out of an inclusive and exciting scene that will have evolved both naturally as well as with conscious effort. This second event featured conversations about practice-based research exploring compassion-based practices in ensemble actor training, insights on how laboratory theatre at rada has dealt with asynchronous teaching and the ways the theatre scene rejuvenated in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Including the first session, we’ve now had contemporary dance, opera, mime, musical theatre, rock music and stand-up comedy performances, all held virtually.
As one audience member emailed me after the event:
“You were right in your predictions: it was uplifting and much of it very moving. Discussions and positive actions must continue. And then theatre for the ‘new times’ (the repeated phrase had not escaped me) will emerge. I still harbour a hope that it won’t be made up of audio-theatre or zoomed or videoed performances and that we shall come back to performers receiving what the extraordinary dancer from Bern, Ana, described as the “energy of a live audience”. And the audience again being able to smell and feel the buzz of a live performance. How? Well, that’s what meetings like last night’s force us to think about.”
If you’re reading this and you would like to see any of the recordings, please get in touch with me through the contact form.