Moving Day: rehearsal notes
by Camilla Langdon, Production Assistant
Moving Day is a site-specific theatre performance currently being devised, and to be performed this summer by Glorious Age as part of Lewisham Borough of Culture.
Free tickets will be soon available to book here.
On my first day, Glorious Age member Sheila squeezed my hand and said- “You’re going to love it here”. I was quite nervous, but her warmth made me feel so welcomed and at ease. Working as a production assistant for Glorious Age, I can say that Sheila was right- I’m loving it here! During rehearsals, the group has been true to their name- it’s been glorious seeing the open, bold and often humorous approach of our members.
On the 16th of May, we had a Breakfast (UK) / Dinner (Japan) meet with Glorious Age and older adults performing with OiBokkeShi- our partner theatre company based in Japan. It was a great way to approach the time difference, and gave us an opportunity to ask meaningful questions and to discover connections.
We played ‘two truths and a lie’ as a way to playfully introduce ourselves, and a member of OiBokkeShi showcased their amazing paper cutting talents, creating a praying mantis on camera for the group. The energy in the room was great to see- all were engaged, and excited to see and share all of our idiosyncrasies.
OiBokkeshi mentioned to us that older people in Japan sometimes have to give up their driving licences- this means that many have to move house in old age. Glorious Age member Ron also stressed the importance of his bus pass to the group. The desire for independence, which often relies crucially on access to transport, became a point of connection for all.
What stood out particularly during our meet was a question asked by OiBokkeShi:
“We’ve been talking about moving as a challenging experience- do you have any circumstances of moving being a more positive/happier event?”
Initially Glorious Age said no- but after a little discussion, some members highlighted moving as a chance for a new beginning, exploring new connections and the chance to be better connected due to improved transport/ community events.
It has been during more recent rehearsals, led by Remi Graves our Lead Artist, that these aspects of joy and humour have been brought out and explored- alongside the often hard, and challenging themes that Moving Day addresses. Glorious Age member Teresa said “What we hope to achieve is awareness for the elderly through the play”. Moving is complex, especially in older age- but I think that Moving Day is progressing towards a performance that will hold all of these complexities, whilst giving awareness, a louder voice and (hopefully) hope to people going through these experiences.
In the plot, intergenerational friendships form and power balances shift as protagonists Edie and Marcus assert themselves against re-developments that evict and exclude tenants. Together, they take back ownership over their future, moving together, creating a future for themselves that is positive- a house tailored to their needs, a new place to live that offers more not less.
During our rehearsals for Moving Day the cast have been working on showing the wide spectrum of emotions that moving brings with it- the sadness of leaving memories behind but also the joy of beginning something new. Moving in older age is a time to realise full potential- a time of entelechy!