It’s fair to say that the R&D of Not Yours, Mine can be described as intense,
hilarious, energetic, and creative. As both writer and director, my own personal challenge was on differentiating the two roles whilst in the rehearsal room. After a day or two of focusing on script, I had to be strict with myself and switch off my ‘writer head’ and focus on directing.
When beginning the R&D it was fair to say my focus was on the closed-sharing we planned. I was aware this was being filmed and seen by industry invitees. It was only through the support of our mentors, Chris Lawson, Kash Arshad and Rachel McBride, that I was able to understand that R&D was about focusing on play and exploration and that the sharing could be whatever we felt it should be.
Once this realisation hit, I was able to, as a director, free myself up a lot more. The room became about exploring, playing and trying out things that we wouldn’t normally have the time or space to do in the rehearsal room.
Something that made the experience so valuable was having the opportunity to work with four committed and open actors. From day one they were open to trying anything I threw at them (however bizarre it may have seemed at the time). They demonstrated a genuine desire to help us explore the piece and this allowed us to really figure out what this show was, and more importantly what it wasn’t.
Having our mentors in the room was also incredibly valuable. Sometimes when you’re sat in a white room with no windows for hours on end, you can get wrapped up in your own head and find it hard to take a step back. This was what the mentors were able to do for me, encourage me to take a step back and look at other ways of playing and exploring.
It is safe to say that having the opportunity to do an R&D was even more valuable than even I realised. It gives you the space and time to be an artist and explore your work without the pressure of a finished product. It allowed us to really figure out what this show is going to be and I, for one, am incredibly excited about bringing it to Oldham Coliseum Studio in June!