We have now come to the end of our second period of Research and Development on Patent Pedrick – our new performance work devised around maverick inventor Arthur Paul Pedrick.
This follows on from our initial development last Summer that ended in a scratch performance of 18 mins at The Little Angel HATCH festival last September. From that initial work I’ve thought that there are clues to making the show are in Arthur’s patents. However, I’ve found 163 of them and it has not been possible in the research time to read through 15 years of his work (I’ve read most of them) and also look into the other areas opening up for research such as the music of Lonnie Donegan, the history of the testcard, BBC interlude films, trade test colour films, 1960’s Airplane crashes, light music, testcard music, 60s/70s cat food advertising, the 3 day week, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, the Apollo space program, Einstein and relativity theory, Harrods Exotic Pets dept…
The research for this production has been immense, exhausting and overwhelming at times. But going back into a devising environment you never know exactly what is going to be useful or what kernel of info could be needed. I find quite often a little detail can unlock something much bigger or link up a theme – both often needed in a devising situation – but getting all the little details takes a lot of time.
Sarah-Jane and I stood in Barking Tesco the night before our first devising day as the gods of the reduced section tempted us with party poppers. Could they be useful? Would they be useful? Should we get them? And through the interrogation of the value of these party poppers we unlocked an idea for a recurring motif that will form a strong part of the visual narrative. We got the reduced party poppers (and clubcard points).
We spent seven devising days at Studio 3 Arts. Below are some photos from that time.