Skye Loneragan’s Though This Be Madness was to have toured Scotland as part of this year’s SMHAF.
A theatre show set in a lounge room, Though This Be Madness features a recovering mum who is attempting to tell you many tales of sisterhood struggles with mental health. With support from SHMAF, the show is now undergoing an experimental re-framing to see how it can best be performed, live online, broadcasting from Skye’s living room to yours.
Over the next few weeks Skye will be sharing quirky, questioning process-bites as she develops this new version of the show.
Part Three: Welcome to the Land of Lounge Room
Part Two: Once Upon A Time
Once upon a time….I don’t have time.
This is the first line of Though This Be Madness. I can’t even get to the first line, though, ‘cause I can’t work out how to bounce on a pilates ball far away from the screen without making you giddy and also in a way that you can see my face, my expressions, my facial features. If I go close to you, Little Green Light, Oh Laptop Screen, you can hear what I say, but I can’t make any shapes with my body that fit the frame at the same time. There must be a way, oh Internal Microphone, of hitching you to a Bluetooth hand-free thingy and then you might just hear the foley sounds of fabric every now and then because I will be wearing a harness. A baby harness - Don’t Leave Home Without It. Or, I didn’t. Leave Home Without It. Back then, which is now - in the story - which isn’t true. It’s just a fiction but it’s based on real crying. On how the baby crying felt like a fish-hook through the heart - never knew it would be such a skip-trip for the nervous system.
So, there are four sisters, Zoom Window…but I’ve only got this window of about 40 minutes, if that, well, while my daughter is on the iPad, before I’ll need to - I’m wondering if I may need to just use figurines or sing it all to you instead… screen time, got to limit screen time, Dear iMovie Drag & Drop Feature.
Lessons I learn from my lounge room:
- Nothing is going to grow from scouring the news, do not let it in for long.
- You can buy the potted herbs but they don’t always grow, though Basil is determined.
- Not everyone has a garden and that is why you use moss on the dinner table with pretend trees.
- Wine is not how you were born (repeat).
- The days do, but the hours don’t. Time has lost its meaning. It is pretty clear there are days out there, the sun and moon make sense, but the hours are debatable. Months are just a fiction you pass through, and weekends remain a mystery idea. Which is all incredibly promising. For the Now.
- If you are on the fridge while they are in their VR headset and she is zooming at 3yrs old, you need to take a break
Part One: Framing
Why would I try to share something made to work in 3-dimensions online?
Firstly, framing. How to set it up so that you can see it, oh computer screen, or video camera, or little green light that indicates there is something being recorded somewhere to something somehow to someone out there…maybe.
How to frame a story that takes place in a lounge room but is told through some kind of kinetic, kinaesthetic gold - how to film a tangible energy exchange, one that happens eye to eye, heart to heart, beat to beat - how to let you feel the features on my face from far away, without zooming in.
How to let you see my voice? Who is this for anyway? Who is feeling time-rich but theatre-on-screen poor between queueing for food, keeping their distance, washing their hands, waiting to hear the result of their claim, schooling their children, finding out they can’t be furloughed, calling their family, nurturing their friends, seeking Joe Wicks, also online?
Who is this for? This attempt to connect with you across spatial constraints, time zones and a desktop is important, but who is it for? I wonder if what I do can only be done in three dimensions…live…so I’m trying to work out how to frame it.
Lessons I learn from my lounge room:
- Tables always get taken out and slid back in to be taken out
- Wine was not how you were born (repeat)
- There is always a crumb to sweep up
- Egg cartons are incredibly expressive shapes that do not make little creatures as easily as you think they will
- Sprouting wild flowers get overcrowded if you just scatter them inside of something small which isn’t wild
- There is only so much swiping your glasses will find transformative if they are scratched and the world is a furloughed optometrist
- If you find a chick pea under your feet resist nothing
- There is only so much room in which to twirl a 3-yr-old if you don’t dismantle the shelves
- Birdcall through a window can solve anything
- Stillness can pretty much give all the moving meaning back
- Stay Home, Stay Still, Save your Soul (for the 12 mins their attention is sunk in screen-story)