This is a note I put on FB today after seeing WOYZECK IN WINTER part of the Galway Arts Festival. I repeat a version of it here because I felt it might be missed. I feel the project yields up a lot of questions/considerations for directors – some complex and some downright elementary. The show, a meshing of Buchners Woyzeck and the beautiful Wintereisse music was a bold and interesting idea with some talented performers…well i am not going to do a review of it. I have no idea of the journey they went on and can only respond to what I saw. I called this on FB , Notes to a Director
Please, especially if your production has a massive budget, get a fight director who can make a fight look real from ALL angles, and also tell the actors, supposed to be poor soldiers, how to split logs.
Never use traversing an amazing set as an an excuse to fill in time when you are not quite sure what to do emotionally, nor rely on superb lighting, music and paper snow to create atmosphere entirely. The snow for instance , at the beginning when it was effective, implied to me misery, cold, starvation. I rarely felt this atmosphere coming from the actors and they were more than capable of generating it.
Overall, rely more on your extremely talented actors to do the work. Believe me they have far more resources than you think, especially if you give them the right tools to work with; and by tools I do not mean set costume lights etc. but their inner tools.
Allow the actor more expression of the characters journey, conflicts and polarities to prevent sameness, leaving the audience and characters ploughing the same furrow over and over again. Be ruthless with them if there is no ‘feeling of the whole’ because without it, I as the audience member will leave dissatisfied and indifferent.
Remember that pacey entrances and strong energy whilst they keep the audience involved are not the whole answer.
Have a clear idea of what you are saying with your production and make sure the whole creative team know about it and are willing to go with you on it.
Beware of microphones. Though they seem to create variety and intimacy, very often they hamper the artists ability to do just that.
Congratulations to Rosaleen Linehan though who carried an incredible beauty and weight to her role and made the opening and the last two minutes really special.