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I’D RATHER GO BLIND
OMNIBUS THEATRE 1 - 5 OCTOBER 2019
A new play by Somalia Seaton
caroline on i’d rather go blind
Monique sat down with Caroline to talk about I’d Rather Go Blind and what it means to direct it.
What does directing this play mean to you?
I think to be able to direct a play that you feel fully invested in, fully committed to and are trying to find a way of creating a piece of theatre, that both reflects the reality of some women’s lives…I am fully invested in it. Especially as the way we work is by working with participants who have experiences of these types of situations.
To be honest, I haven’t really directed a piece of work that I haven’t been emotionally invested in. That’s what I’m interested in, that’s what I want to explore in my work how can we really understand these experiences of people and then share it in a way gives us something as an audience to think about. Gives us something to maybe make us angry, make us go out and change the world, maybe also celebrate some of the brilliant things humans have and some of the qualities that are actually not celebrated in our culture but I think are amazing.
What is your thought process when you first read a script?
I’m really interested in the language. Does it make me feel something? And that’s not just in terms of the content of the story but also as an emotional response to how it’s written. So the way the writing flows, is that something that makes me feel something other than just hearing intellectually stimulating or really realistic writing.
Who or what influences you in the work you do?
For me my political beliefs, my faith…they are the major influences. Through my faith there’s the basic premise that you are loved and that we all need to be loved. Often the stories I’m looking at are things where people haven’t felt that. They haven’t felt that internally or externally and of course, all these things are things I’ve had to grow and struggle with and learn how to live better with, with myself.
I’d Rather Go blind is a part of a series of plays; A Cracked Plaster Sky and Never Vera Blue, how does it relate to the others?
There’s lots of threads that run through all of these plays and I think the clear thread is where people are living with huge struggles but then they also have this capacity to overcome that. I suppose take responsibility for it, being able to see something as kind of the first step. Never Vera Blue particularly was very clear in that we followed a woman, as she discovered in the moments of the play, alongside the audience, that what she’d been living was a lot of pretence, although it was real for her, but that was not the full picture that she was seeing. I mean clearly all 3 plays have incredibly powerful women; all of whom are women the broader society wouldn’t see as such.
What has been the biggest challenge in directing it so far with all that in mind?
The biggest is challenge is trying to find the right levels of intensity because we have a lot of material and it could be really difficult to sit through but it isn’t. I think identifying where there are lighter moments and recognising that’s the reality of many people’s lives and that there’s a load of shit and the good stuff that goes along with that and interweaves with it and that we need to celebrate that and in the rehearsal room we need to celebrate those moments giving the space to the really difficult experiences we need to be able to hone in on and allow ourselves to sit in.
What is the overall message you think comes from the play and Futures’ work in general?
There is hope. There is always hope and in this play we see it so clearly and it’s not unrealistic hope, it’s not fantasy. It is based in the human experience and a lot of the women’s experiences that I’ve worked with over a long time. Even with all of that there’s plenty of hope. Human relationships are so complex in one way and then in another way there’s such a basic need for us to be with others.
There’s something incredibly powerful about the story of a mother and a daughter and whatever the circumstances are around that that is powerful. And that is what this play is about, a mother and a daughter and load of shit systems and defunct systems and all the rest around it that have almost destroyed something but the hope is not destroyed. Until we get to the hope, how do we live?