PLAY is one of the key principles of the GOLKK practice. For us, play is not simply about warm up games or adding fun to rehearsals - it is a vital element of our devising process. We allow the collective, spontaneous and imaginative heart of play into every aspect of our creations, allowing it to guide us towards theatre which is ALIVE.
- Play is COLLECTIVE
In the moment of playing a game, we are all present in the moment together.
When you are moving beyond the world of university, and balancing new responsibilities such as multiple jobs and company admin (and bloody loads of it), your time in rehearsals becomes even more precious. It is very easy to lose play, trying to find the most efficient route to theatre-making. However, without play - without investing time in togetherness and curiosity - the devising process becomes flat and predictable.
Our rehearsals are full of games and exercises which allow us to play, without the pressures of devising material or contributing somehow to a future performance. We are always inspired by the work of Michael Chekhov and John Britton, two practitioners who are invested in the importance of play. The Ball Game, from Britton's Encountering Ensemble is brilliant for keeping playful relationships alive within the ensemble: the game requires your attention to be present, entirely devoted to the game and the players.
- Play is SPONTANEOUS
Play cannot be pre-planned or predicted- otherwise it is no longer play!
We try to remain as playful as possible within our performances, in order to keep the spontaneity for ourselves and audiences. Our performances always contain an element of live improvisation: the structure is mostly the same, yet the intricate moments of connection between us are ever-changing. With every performance, we seek new moments of risk, creativity and (you guessed it) play!
Why is this important?
We believe that without play in performance, we deny the audience of a truly live experience. We want to create theatre which is open to the audiences' interpretations, and subtle changes each night allow for new meanings to be constantly arising from the work.
- Play is IMAGINATIVE
If you watch a child playing, you can often see an endless potential for creativity. One imaginary world rolls into another, with new rules and possibilities - always beautifully messy, and without limits.
In our rehearsals, we allow worlds to evolve in a similar way. To create this imaginative play, it is important that you continue to say "yes" to offers made by your fellow performers. Saying "yes" can of course be verbal, but most often it is through a physical response - it might be as simple as noticing a change in rhythm, and adapting accordingly. If we continue to say yes and give offers, in a playful and curious atmosphere, then the imagination can become something shared between the group, rather than an individual experience.
Whatever your practice is, be it "straight acting" or photography, fine art, or something entirely different, there is always room for play. You never know, you might even learn to play everyday...