The Wood Begins To Move

Red Cardigan and sticks
Red Cardigan and sticks

It has been tumultuous recently with Brexit, the Labour party machinations and the disturbing power struggles of people who would lead us.

I have always been of the socialist persuasion but I wouldn’t call myself very active. However this time I have been compelled to do something because for once I have seen the actions and example of  a leader who has great human concern and dignity.  I do believe that Jeremy Corbyn represents what constitutes a good leader.  He always comes back to his source: caring for those less better off.

In 2010 I was working on a project for the RSC which I called Birnam Wood which conceived Macbeth as a women’s story.  I am slightly stirred again by the current Conservative leadership campaigns which remind me of my work on that project which had, unfortunately, limited development – it was the recession.  It still is the recession and I have found myself yet again reinventing the wheel observing the tree as a teacher as the wood begins to march.

I posted the following on Facebook when the Labour haemorrhage began.  The offer still stands.

“Getting more and more disappointed with the people who are leaving Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet but encouraged by his new appointments. I would like to offer the ones who have resigned a free workshop with me working on physical exercises concerning leading and following. Leading and following effectively is very delicate and complex. It involves walking/moving with, alongside, sensing, being sensitive to: making it almost impossible to see that you are the leader and it is not the same as mirror work. It requires that the leader allows rather than dictates. Enrique Pardo (Pantheatre) introduced me to this many years ago – on a workshop in London when he was over in England. Pardo used to say it was about making your follower look fantastic, making yourself invisible, making your follower look as if they were the one leading. It’s one of the hardest things to do – give up on your own ego and help someone else make an action without anyone knowing whose idea it was, bringing them along with you without taking the credit for the action. It requires great skill with peripheral vision and great sensitivity in making actions in the unknown. It is not about copying it is about being with. I would suggest that Jeremy Corbyn is the perfect leader. Every time I listen to him I have felt as if he is with the flow of the people who do not have much power. He has given me some hope in the possibility of change.”

Since posting,  the bleeding has stopped but we still don’t have a solution…..however, the man with honour continues to hold out an olive branch to those who are making his job difficult.   Somehow I hope and believe things will change and heal.  Jeremy Corbyn, despite the mass men and women who would fell him, stands strong with dignity.

This short film is a return, a short tribute to trees, leadership, peaceful protest and hope.  Thanks to Helen Chadwick for her permission to use the music and thanks to Goethe, Shakespeare and Robert Bly, oh and Ian Cameron for the pic of me in the red cardigan.





Phil Smith on Little Blue Man


Dear Carran

I was so glad I came to see your piece in Wootton Fitzpaine

What I really enjoyed about it:

  • The range of different environments, living room, back garden, football pitch, car park, field, village hall, road. The performed content stay mostly in a (familiar) similar ‘voice’, but the shifting of sites meant that that ‘voice’ echoed and resonated differently at the time; as if there was certain trapped quality, but trapped by ever more different things. The sites were always in some kind of tension with the performed personae; at odds with each other – there was never any ease with the grass or the living room or the clothes line. Normal processes were disrupted by a personal life, but that disruption did not resolve. Incongruities forced the spectator all the time to connect the events related and portrayed to new frames of reference – to giant ‘natural’ processes, to the everyday and informal archiving of ordinary things that accumulate in private lives, to exposure of theatre process – different from the one/s they narrated.

Continue reading “Phil Smith on Little Blue Man”

Between time

Carran as workhouse inmate dressing in boots and uniform
Boots: The House (PIc by Audrey Steeley)

Hello again! Just opened The House and on a motorway route to Dorset to review Little Blue Man and the projects we all made with Sandra Reeve back in September.  Been working with the ancestors in both projects. One for the summer and one for the winter…..maybe or vice versa, it depends which way you look at it I suppose.

Gate 5 – Moon River: Little Blue Man – pic by Mary Booker
Carran as Terry's daughter dancing in a football field
Gate 6 – Painting the Sky: Little Blue Man – pic by Sandra Reeve


Update on Little Blue Man page

I just added a reflective document to the Little Blue Man page charting the journey with that performance so far and sets it in the context of my creative journey making performance work.

I have also added the performance information in connection with the next outing for Little Blue Man which happens in Dorset on Tuesday September 8 at 11.15am: for details see the link here:

The Project Group- Performance Programme 2015

S1180028gateway 6 lbm

Pics: Sandra Reeve, Ian Cameron, Joe Waterfield and Joy Kearney