Surrounded by the verdant greenness of the damp west Wales landscape, Friesian cows in the next field, and a thin slither of the Irish Sea, like the paring of a fingernail, just visible on the horizon. I am at The Llanarth Group’s Studio, beginning work on a new collaborative piece, The Echo Chamber, which will open in January 2012 at Chapter Arts centre in Cardiff.
The Llanarth Group is an association of international theatre/performance artists, founded in Wales in 2000 by Artistic Director, Phillip Zarrilli. Each production brings together a specific group of collaborators relevant to the aesthetic of a specific project, and this one brings together Ian Morgan, Peader Kirk, Phillip Zarrilli and myself.
It’s not our first time gathering to begin work on the project. Earlier in the year, we had two days in a studio in Berlin, but even prior to that, each of us has collaborated with at least one of the other, in some complex, convoluted dance of connections and companies and coincidences, but always conscious decisions.
Welsh theatre practitioner Ian Morgan has been a member of Polish theatre company Song of the Goat for six years. Peader Kirk, a director/artist, works collaboratively with Mkultra and recently made a piece called A Day Trip, commissioned by Athens Festival. An online portion of the project is available at http://mkultra-adaytrip-audio.posterous.com/59709281 Phillip Zarrilli is a long-term collaborator; we have worked extensively together since Theater Asou’s site-specific Speaking Stones in 2002, made inside an Austrian mountain quarried since Roman times and used as a work camp by the Nazis, making machine parts for aeroplanes during the 1942 Allied bombings.
It’s going to be interesting…