One Way Ticket Tour Blog: Week two

Justin Coe, one of the two artists assisting Rosie Harris with preparing the script for One Way Ticket describes the fun and excitement of the creative process.    

We’ve just finished our second (post-scratch) writing session at the Half Moon Theatre and we are all buzzing.

We’ve spent the day analysing the original One Way Ticket script and hearing the new material we’ve written since last week. The builders are busy banging outside the window, but that doesn’t put us off, we’ll need to harden up to the elements ourselves before we tour this show on ships docked in Gillingham and Southampton in March and April.

The script produced for the scratch show back in May was written quickly in four sessions by three performance poets with varying styles. The story and characters have stood up well to closer inspection but today Rosie Harris has brought us a completely new beginning. As we read through and begin to experiment with our different voices, it already feels that the piece has greater energy, playfulness and power.

JC WK 2 Photo

Last week Sophie Rose asked the important question “why are we using spoken word to tell to this story?” This week Rosie’s new writing contained the answer:

“…And we’re telling you this story, cause words were all we had/when things got bad….words help us remember where we came from/that we had another life before we got put on board/stories are where memories are stored”.

There’s even time for me to dust down my guitar and add a few chords to a poem and suddenly it’s a song. It’s a lively enough piece about the sea and in a show about the emotionally intense subject of child migration aimed at a young audience, we are looking for some lighter moments. It gets a seal of approval and we all have a go at writing a few more verses – but would my 11 year old character really suddenly whip out his guitar and sing a folk song? It doesn’t seem likely:  and yet in a spoken word show where adults play children and break down the fourth wall at will, how much does that matter?  The discussion extends into the use of musical instruments in general during the show. It’s something that we will explore more when director Chris Elwell from the Half Moon is in with us next week. But in the meantime, I have got permission to nose around music shops and research ukuleles. Surely there’s room on board the poetry ship for one more uke-plucking performance poet! (Alright, Mr Hegley?)

It’s so much fun to be working with two other writers and we are already enjoying the increased potential to experiment with our different writing styles, poetic forms and poly-vocal performance. As lead writer, Rosie has the most to do now in ensuring that the story keeps apace with the poetry and enough weight is given to each of the characters.

I might also need to learn the ukulele. But we’re getting there!