• Dr Margi Brown Ash

We engage in another play reading

Pilgrimages cannot be identified as being a certain thing…they can be linear or cyclical, they can be internal or external…the interior landscape or exterior landscape…it feels like I am on a pilgrimage of sorts here at Sostrup: a journey where we have no preconceived destination, yet a destination all the same: We are endeavouring to push theatrical form, trying to find the liminal entry points into the performance itself. And while we test this liminal topography we have moments of relief: wonderful new Danish friends who entertain us as only Danes can.

Liminality is that point that sits between beginning and ending…we do not know it well. It is the opposite of solid. It is the land of the unknown. We begin our day in the known, we move into the unknown and then hopefully we exit knowing something more than when we entered this strange vortex of experience. As we sit in the library mid morning I realise that the library is a metaphor of our journey: we sit in a library of books. We understand books. We love books. My own home has stalagmites of books growing from floor to ceiling. They are my walls. But in this library I cannot access the knowledge. It is written in Danish, it is a locked world of knowledge to me. Just like the creative process. We have to unpick the lock and one cannot take a short cut…until the lock opens, we sit in that in-between space, in liminal time.

Today was a big day of liminal time. We presented Playreading/discussion No. 2, presenting something that need to engage our audience and at the same time challenge their ideas of what it is to belong in this world. Our subject matter today is of course EVE, a story of a woman that I have been fascinated with for over 25 years. This woman who wants to be the artist she believes she was born to be. But she was born out of time. She knew that she was a woman. A comical woman. But she wanted to be a serious and handsome man. So she decided to change her name to Oscar Wilde by depoll. In doing so, she believed that she was Oscar’s reincarnation:

on this day I slew Eve Langley before she could slay me

2pm. Saturday afternoon. The Kings Room:

We sit in two beautiful chairs. We talk to our audience. We morph into Eve’s words, and morph out again. We make the movement from first position to second position to third position with a fluidity of simple moves. First position, in this case, the me in the here and now. Second position, the character I step into. Third position in the one who observes the me being the character. So I slip from one to the other and finally to the third position, where I am able to safely reflect, make decisions and operate with a clear and present mind.

We loved the experience, hearing the questions that our audience asked, trying to answer them to the best of our ability and at the same time posing our own questions as we move into this complex and layered landscape of multiple realities.

After our reading we walked. To walk in these woods of crisp, the brownness of the leaves slowing turning into green as the days move closer to spring. The light is muted, the air alive with potential.

I love rehearsal process. That constant return to the Unknown, that scary unpredicatable place of challenging ideas, discussions that move around rather than through the subject matter…and I am noticing my pattern of circular talking until it is not.

It’s late now. We have partied, eaten terrific food, shared the evening with our new Danish friends, friends that Kirsten our hostess has known all her adult life. We made a huge list of Danish movies to watch on our return to Australia while we drank Elderberry flowers next to red wine.

Time to sleep, and not without a huge smile. Such stimulation, aliveness, generosity, joy. Sostrup Castle is a hearty place, fecund and vibrating with ideas and understandings.