Drawings from Stella Electrika rehearsal of "This Trick"

On Wednesday and Thursday last week I had the privilege of being invited to sit in on and draw from a rehearsal of “This Trick”, a play written and directed by Kat Henry that was under development by her company Stella Electrika at Metro Arts.



I have been considering working from performance artists in rehearsal for some time, and had spoken to Kat about this idea before.  I was blown away by the experience - the visual material I was exposed to was more than I hoped for, and the whole vibe of the cast and crew under Kat’s direction was a simply wonderful to be around.





 It was interesting to see how the sense of creative plasticity (the sense of being open to unexpected directions and ideas during the process) applied in this field, and the trust involved between the team in this intensely collaborative process.



The play is a variation on the greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and I have previously sketched compositions for this myth because I found it one of the most compelling.  Kat’s play is not a literal treatment but unpacks the mysteriously compelling psychology of this story in a modern setting.  It has only two actors, a male and a female, with the set an elegantly abstracted bedroom.  The acting oscillated from more natural scenes to more abstract, poetic ones - in both cases the result was full of visual stimulus, but in very different ways. This was ideal for me.  The actors were both a pleasure to watch, with that presence you hope for in theatrical actors.  The idiosyncrasies of body type and body language, and the huge variation in emotional content provide combinations that I could not have come up with, or asked a model to pose into - which convinces me further that it is better to seek inspiration from this type of subject rather than try to make it up, or be too prescriptive.



Dozens of frantic drawings later, I redrew some of the more compelling images I managed to get down in pen and wash, and discovered some very interesting compositional ideas as I worked into them.





After an intense week of rehearsal, the play ran on Friday and Saturday nights at Metro Arts, with very positive reactions from the audience both times.  



Thanks to: Kat, Penny, Kevin, Hannah and Scott (the other Scott).