RnD week 1, first day – introducing Alfred and Master Billy

30 Sep

Sleeping tonight on some welcome surprises.

Not least, the appearance of the caped crusader’s butler, Alfred. In a show about a cemetery in Kabul named after it’s Muslim caretaker… Devising has these habits.

Alfred has turned up in the service of the story of one of the cemetery’s residents, Billy Batman. Billy’s story was fascinating but his perpetual stonedness was kind of dull in improvisations. When Alfred turned up in a scene however, we got a glimpse of the inside of his head as a much more interesting place than his external behaviour under the influence had allowed. With Alfred programmed to do what he’s told, although always to disapprove, a nice relationship and tension began to emerge. We’ve since found out that Alfred Pennyworth (retired actor and intelligence agent) was ‘conceived’ in 1943, going into service of the Wayne family in response to his father’s dying wish, introducing a tempting parallel with Rahimullah and his son. The ever shifting nature of comic book characters themselves as they are reinterpreted may also have resonance with the broader theme of change which i feel the piece is about at it’s heart.

Billy’s death (as a result of an accident with a loaded pistol and a deliberate opium overdose) played out nicely, thanks in part to a star appearance by the pubs’ cat during Billy’s rant about ‘candy-floss kids’ on Spring-break piling off commercial tour buses on Chicken Street. He wants to blow the tyres, Alfred tries in vain to stop him from hunting the cat…

We’ve also been drawn today to a scene from a San Francisco apartment during the Summer of Love, and the birth of Billy’s son, Digger. There’s an extraordinary piece of writing that takes you right there. I feel the scene stands as some sort of perfection for Billy, a totemic memory of when everything was right.

We also saw Rahimullah open the doors and move very slowly through the space. I’m intrigued by the image. It says something about his constancy in relation to the whirlwind of change and of stories happening around him.

A further look at Rahimullah himself tomorrow i reckon. I’m curious about his role as a Master of Ceremonies, a Curator, a narrator. How might he interact with the stories, and their performers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: