This week we have focused on developing the specifics of our performance idea. For example we created a rough script of the audio that our designated speaker (Fleur) would record once finalised. This took us a lot longer than expected as we found it hard to create instructions that were not too patronising, structured or contained not enough information. After four painful hours in the library we finally completed the script, however in hindsight it would have been a lot easier to have written it in the site, saving us trying to imagine where the audience would stand. Despite the extra work we made for ourselves, we managed to complete the scrip ready for Rachael’s meeting.
Today we went to the site and conducted a trial run through of the script and pretended to hear it from the audience’s perspective. There were several little things that cropped up, such as ‘look to your left and you’ll see the statue’ is actually suppose to be ‘look to your right…’ etc. However whilst running through the performance a middle aged man, roughly in his 40’s, stood next to us whilst we were examining the judgment gates and suddenly said ‘I wonder who the women are on the archways, and why they’re headless’. This then sparked a very unexpected conversation between himself and our group about the headless statues around the entrance. Which is exactly what we were looking for in our piece. The complete irony of it all and the sheer perfect topic of conversation allowed us to see the site from even more of a different angle. Whilst talking to the guy he mentioned that a lot of the smaller statues around the archway are also missing a head. Despite staring at the gates twice a week for a month or so, we had never noticed this! All (except two) angels surrounding the statue to Jesus had no heads, and several of the smaller female ‘saint-like’ statues were also missing a head. The fact that only some of them had their heads removed made us really think? We know that the heads of the non-biblical saints were removed in the Reformation, but these were identical angels? Why are some headless and some not? This made the man suggest ideas/ stories why there were like this (again exactly what we’re basing our performance on). He suggested that one night in the Reformation a man crept up to the cathedral and was chopping the heads off the statues when he was caught half way through the job. This opinion from a complete stranger will be included into our piece and played to the audience as a valid perception of that’s site.