Rosa Duncan and Rebecca Sweeney will undertake a research and development week for a new play. Their project for Make Do & Mend intends to explore the gendered experiences of patients within mainstream medicine. They will ask how the language associated with invisible illnesses (particularly those of women) affects the treatment processes and the quality of life. They want to use theatrical device to communicate experiences that remain immeasurable, internal – how much women’s experiences have changed and how different yet they could be with the shaping of language.
Check out TwentySomething’s blog post where Rebecca tells us a little more about the project and how the artists own personal experiences with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, a particularly difficult to diagnose genetic condition, and gendered experience of the healthcare system has been part of the inspiration for making this work.
This week Rebecca and Rosa tackle some very difficult and troubling questions, such as, how does one make the invisible visible? When making a performance about invisible illnesses, that’s one of the major hurdles to jump! Alongside this they are considering the ups and downs of suffering from invisible illnesses and the positive and negatives of the NHS. Read more on TwentySomething’s blog.
Rosa and Rebecca have now had several sessions of dramaturgical discussion around the play. Their thoughts thus far:
“We received loads of really helpful responses to our surveymonkey so thank you if you responded to that. We’ve had two really informative development sessions with actors – Kim Allan, Christina Gordon, Rowan Hall, David Kirkwood, Jamie Leary, Rachel Still and Chloe Ann Taylor. We’ve developed a strong relationship between text and design – our designer Anna Orton is working away on visuals of the textures that will make visible our character’s physical/mental experience whilst also affecting the character and driving the play forward.”
Research is ongoing as they get closer to making all of the decisions necessary for Rebecca to go away and write a full draft of the play! Exciting times ahead, stay tuned.
TwentySomething are an all-women led theatre company based in Edinburgh. Their work puts women’s voices at the forefront of stories.
Rosa Duncan is a director based in Glasgow. She is currently working with Imaginate as a Launchpad Artist, exploring creating visually engaging and fun socio-political work for 3-7 year olds. Rosa is the Associate Director on the upcoming production of Morna Young’s Lost at Sea, (Perth Theatre).