Performing in The House of Curious Engagements

We started to create this show without The House Of Curious Engagements to rehearse inside. We made do by marking on the floor where the walls would be and I was left thinking “it’s so big, we have so much space”. It was hard to imagine the space and The House when the only thing we had was the tape marks on the floor and a different colour tape where the door would be.

After five days of imagining it, we had our first rehearsal in The House itself. Suddenly it felt so small; walls everywhere. The windows are very big and placed everywhere and in all different heights. It makes it very different from a normal stage as you will always end up turning your back to someone; this was the hardest thing to get used to.

I spent a long time looking at The House from the outside to understand how the audience would experience the performance. Looking from the small windows at ground level where the youngest children would be, I tried really hard to understand what they will experience, compared to people able to look through the higher windows  It made me understand that everyone really will experience different things and it suddenly become even more exciting to build this performance.

I always want everything to be perfect and am very critical of my own work.  If I can, I prefer to work in a very quiet, private place. This was totally different: outside, very open and with people always around. It was interesting to see how much focus it took for me to stay in the process. With the performance for The House it was hard to create something perfect, because it will never be perfect for everyone. I felt that I needed two months at least to research all the possibilities and I only had two weeks. So we had to make fast decisions, which was tricky because there were millions of possibilities in The House. What I also realised after working in The House was that the walls really make you feel safe. The audience are all around you but you are inside and they are outside. It really felt like we owned the space and they were looking in our home. I really liked that.

The performance is slowly coming alive. We are two performers, me and Elise. We are trying to tell a story about two people that move in to The House without knowing that the other person will live there too. It’s a circus show with juggling and slackrope. It’s the first time me and Elise are working together and it is actually going better than I ever could imagine. It’s always tiring to devise work and even more sometimes when you work with a close friend. It’s hard to know where the lines are between hanging out and working. But I am very happy about how it has been.

Today we spend all day looking for costumes. The idea is that we will wear the same clothes but in different colour and worn in different ways. My colour is yellow and Elise´s blue. As I write this, we have five days left to rehearse… and I believe The House will be a hit!

To learn more about The House of Curious Engagements, please visit the Sondryfolk website.