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Monday, 22 May 2017

The need for a show to get naked

Most people would not get naked in public, this much I know, in fact your mother would definitely advise against it, but if there's one thing I've learnt about the process of making the show, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Barbara Brownskirt it's that, metaphorically speaking, you must bare all in order to let the work develop. 
Last week I presented the final work in progress showing to a small chosen audience. I'm not brave enough to just throw open the doors to the general public, so after the shop closed we turned The Bookseller Crow bookshop into a pop up theatre space and I donned my hood and hid in the back office while the group arrived.

Rows of books were thrown aside to make room
for Barbara Brownskirt

Here's a run down on what I think worked:
1. Firstly, I chose to invite people that I knew and trusted and who have shown interest in my work. (Ask and they will come. People are flattered that you want their opinion and most creatives understand the need for a supportive environment.)
2. Ask people who work within areas that you need help with i.e. I invited a retired drama teacher and also a working actor as they would have different ideas and expertise to performance artists.
3. Provide lots of drinks and onions ring crisps as payment. It'll make a convivial atmosphere. Remember to ask someone to help serve drinks so that you don't suddenly have to switch from hostess to performer.
4. Remember, performing to a room of people without proper stage lighting will be more nerve wracking than standing on a stage - if you can do this, then really you can do anything.
Choose an excellent and highly addictive
selection of crisps
5. Provide feedback forms that guide the audience toward the kind of feedback you want. I.e pose them direct questions like:
         What did you most like?
         What did you feel needs work?
         Any other thoughts?
6. Take the best suggestions and put them in the show. 
7. Rewrite the bits that need doing while the buzz is still buzzy.
8. Rehearse!

So the show is at Brighton Fringe next week 1 & 2 June, 7.30pm at The Marlborough. 
Brighton Fringe Tickets here:
Do come! 
Oh, and there's a London debut, 7.30pm, 21 July at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Tickets here:

Tweet Barbara Brownskirt on @bbrownskirt

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