In Conversation with Tmesis Theatre's Elinor Randle

Sunday, 02 September 2018 23:00 | Posted by 
Tmesis Theatre's Elinor Randle chats with us about devising bold new work with and new show Beyond Belief:

About Tmesis
Tmesis has been running since 2003, we create share and develop physical theatre through touring, participatory work and an international festival, Physical Fest. We make playful and passionate theatre that explores what it is to be human. At the heart of everything we do is collaboration, we work with extraordinary performers and artists to make work that aims to always be bold, exciting and create a lasting impression. We are proud to be one of the only companies in Liverpool that make work that tours nationally and internationally.

Why/how you devise work
I make work because I want to explore, respond to and question life, and theatre work because I love the power and potential of the live, shared experience, to take ourselves out of ‘normal’ life on a journey, and the infinite possibilities you can explore to create that unique experience.

The work starts with a seed of an idea, something that’s been on my mind, and that I want to explore, at first it’s quite general, I go and talk
 to my creative collaborator, writer Chris Fittock about it and we chat, research and over time it starts to narrow into a clearer idea. We share those ideas with the whole creative team, and then we get in a room and see what kind of piece those ideas will 
create. I love the collaboration involved in making work, a team of people coming together, each bringing their own experience and influences to create something new and of the moment.

Devising work is terrifying, infuriating and massively exciting. I always think it would be much easler to take a script or an existing story, but, what you do get when you make devised work is that you, and all the people involved have created something completely new that didn’t exist before, something that is part of everyone that was involved.

About Beyond Belief
Beyond Belief began with a fascination about how we now live and die online, how our lives can be measured by status updates, collected data, and how we are being encouraged to think about our digital legacies. Once I started researching a whole new world, that was both terrifying and fascinating opened up, age old questions about life and death suddenly had new meaning in the digital age, can we and do we really want to live forever? Where is technology heading and how will it change 

Top 5 tips for devising
  1. Make sure you are really passionate and excited by what your exploring.
  2. Research, research, research. Bring as much as you can into the room, as many influences around your theme, music, text, images, films to watch, books to read, and share those with everyone.
  3. Plan really well, and then be prepared to dive into the unknown, to be scared, disorientated to not know the answers, to be open to your plans changing and morphing into something new.
  4. Test your work along the journey, be open, invite people into the process that you trust, how do they feel when watching it? Remember your making work for an audience, don’t wait until opening night for the work to be seen.
  5. Don’t forget to PLAY, the best state to create in is a playful one. Keep a sense of humour take you self seriously, but then don’t at all
And as a last tip I give you one from one of my favourite theatre practitioners, John Wright: “The only rule of theatre is, don’t be boring, everything else is negotiable” 

All you need is LSD
Beyond Belief plays in Unity 1 from Fri 28 Sep – Sat 6 Oct 2018.

Tickets can be booked online here or by calling 0151 709 4988.



Becky Birtwistle

Becky is Unity Theatre's Communications Officer.  You can follow her on twitter at @beckybirtwistle