6. Idea Making

Today we spent the time creating the idea for our performance, which we hope will become an audio tour of children telling stories about the Cathedral. We want this to be a playful, freeing experience, putting our audience into the minds of a child. Some of our ideas for this include having the audience leave their bags with us at the beginning of the tour, and handing them a map of footprints to lead them around the Cathedral. We plan to include the poetry of Tennyson, such as Cradle Song, in-between the children’s stories, what with his status being a prominent part of our site.

“What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wingers are stronger.
Soshe rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little loger,
Baby too shall fly away.”
(Tennyson)

We all feel that this idea encompasses many of the elements of the site that we have been taking in over the past few weeks: the mixture of old and new, the different perceptions one could have, the “darker” architecture etc. As Fiona Wilkie says, “site-specific performance engages with site as symbol, site as story-teller, site as structure”. (Wilkie, 2002, 150) I think this quote really encompasses a lot of the ideas we have about out site, and what we hope to achieve.

Wilkie, F. (2002) Mapping the Terrain: a Survey of Site-specific Performance in Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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