Having a very technology-oriented mind the recorded media hold a natural attraction of for me. Therefore in approaching The Watcher in the Rain I have written a play that I hope will address people who, like myself, are accustomed to a level of conceptual sophistication theatrical experience rarely offers. Technology is viewed as an impediment to communication by serious performers, and as a substitute for it by the rest!
Most theatre productions signally fail to exploit the one characteristic in which theatre transcends film - namely of requiring the audience to turn its head, to break out of the 2 dimensional limitation of a defined zone from which narrative emerges.
The most exciting production I have seen recently was Luciano Berio's opera Un Re In Ascolto. The technical and narrative novelties were literally sensational - to say nothing of the music.
Another experience which gave me a strong jolt was observing the reaction of audiences within a hemispheric 3D cinema at Alton Towers. They were absolutely captivated by the kinetic effect of movement. The film was a compilation of obvious action sequences - yet it's effect was similar to that which cinema must have had on its earliest audiences. And demonstrated that the average brain has insufficient 'information processing' capacity to address Kinesis and Narrative simultaneously. A factor on which the art of the Conjuror depends. I would like The Watcher in the Rain to have the same quality, but with the proviso that owing to the density of the Narrative content, the required Kinesis must be proportionately lighter.
One of the many ways in which 10 years of Thatcherism impoverished our culture was that in forcing the Arts establishment out of a supine posture into a defensive one the issue has become one of holding onto existing structures, both physical and mental, rather than exploring new ones as our continental colleags do.
The Watcher in the Rain seeks to have its audience examine the entire space in which it is presented, and is interactive to the degree that the audience has to choose how to watch.
So much, in a sense, for the hardware. Now what about the software? To engage an audience at a mythic level a Tragedy must feature the death of 's/he to whom, above all else, this accident should not have happened' - in Canetti's masterly phrase. In The Watcher in the Rain LUCIA dies in a more frightening way than mere death in the sense that her humanity, her very power to communicate with us, is effaced while her body remains physically present with us. Nonetheless, it should be played lightly, fast(-ish), and with a sense of comedy that draws its pathos from the very paradox of the events themselves.