Each year, The North Wall Summer Residency unites emerging artists aged 18 – 25 with a professional theatre company to form a brand new ensemble with the aim of exploring ideas and developing new work.
This summer, the project is led by Theatre Ad Infinitum, an international ensemble committed to developing new and original theatre for multi-cultural audiences. Together, they will be focussing on the creation of a new piece of theatre, inspired by the Norwegian novel Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigfrid Undset, an epic tale of a woman trying to swim against the tide, set in the dark and frozen landscape of 14th century Norway.
The project began on Monday 20th July with all of the participants meeting each other for the first time and moving into one of the St Edward’s School boarding houses together. At the end of their first week, we asked one of the actors, Christina Brown, to give us a glimpse of what’s been going on behind the scenes…
I am Christina Kyomi Evelyn Brown; primarily I am a theatrical creative and actor. I first fell into theatre through NYT, after finishing the summer course my passion for performing was ignited. I applied for this project because I have an interest in physical theatre and was also curious about Theatre Ad Infinitum and their approach to making work. Also, I wanted to collaborate and be inspired by fellow artists.
We’re now 8 days in, and I can honestly say it feels like the three weeks have past already. The first week has been immensely productive: every second used to create/explore, and every muscle on my body worked. I feel as though I’ve been dropped into a whirlwind of exploration, which has not yet stopped. I have come out of each session having learnt something new, and understanding more about myself. A day in the rehearsal room begins with yoga, then followed with a vocal warm-up and then a mime session; all taken by different practitioners.
During the afternoon we have been devising using the Norwegian novel, Kristin Lavransdatter, as a means to guide us. One of the themes that we’ve been looking at is Guilt, which is an emotional state we often don’t discuss freely. I have loved discovering where guilt resides in the body and how it manifests itself in humanity. During this week, I have also learnt a lot about ‘failure’ and how to embrace this taboo. I feel it has been very liberating to be encouraged to fail and commit to it, because it becomes less about getting things ‘right’ and more about finding truth. I am looking forward to the coming week, and seeing where this story takes us.