Saints & Sinners
Group Discussion – What kind of club?
In our joint year 2 lesson this morning we were split up into several groups depending on how up to date each of us personally were in the process; some people were sent to catch up on their WordPress, while another group were set the task of brainstorming possible ideas for a logo and blurb to help advertise the show, and the rest of us were asked to conduct a group discussion around the type of club we wanted to set the show in (as there had been varying concepts people were envisioning among the company eg. nightclub, cabaret club, bar etc.)
To sum up the discussion we concluded that we would like the club our show is set in to be a cabaret club as it gives us a diverse range of characters (from employees and performers to those visiting) and also gives us a reason to have certain performances and ties together the idea of having a preamble before the show in the bar that involves the audience in an immersive theatre style and ensures the audience still feel connected to the show as they would essentially be the audience of the cabaret club. One thing we couldn’t decide on was whether the club would be a normal modern day club that was cabaret themed, whether it was set in the 1920’s or 30’s and was a traditional cabaret club that we see in the films etc, or whether this was relevant at all. Some cast members expressed that they wanted it to be set in modern day as it gives us the opportunity to use modern day songs; however I argued that the lyrics and character of the songs would be relevant no matter what the time period as it is simply a person’s thoughts and the style of the song would be irrelevant. Nevertheless the majority of our small group decided that it might be best to set it in modern day and have it as a themed nightclub based around 1920’s designs. I wasn’t so sure about this and felt that it was kind of just an easily way round of not making a decision by just mushing these ideas together to get the best out of both worlds – which I personally thought might create more confusion for the audience.
Lynn’s lesson – Sorting through show ideas
In Lynn’s lesson today we worked together to try and sort through everyone’s proposed ideas and fit it around the framework of a Club. The first task was to decide what kind of club we wanted it to be as everyone had different ideas in their heads and this could potentially be a deciding factor as to what we included and how we structured the show. Some of us had a discussion on this earlier and so we explained to Lynn that we thought it would be good to do a Cabaret club as it gave the opportunity to have diegetic and nondiegetic acts that followed the storylines of the characters but also had acts performed in the club. Everyone was in agreement that this was a good idea and gave us the best scope of diversity and for fitting in everyone’s ideas in a fluid way. It also gave us the opportunity to have an MC type character who could be announce the acts performed in the cub but also be almost omniscient in the sense that they are above everything and see everything that happens in the club – we decided this could be the club owner. We explained that in our discussion earlier in the day we had explored the idea of it being a 1920/30s themed club but set in the modern day, however Lynn challenged this and queried why it has to be set in the 1920s and where this came into the equation. At first I was quite confused as in my head Cabaret clubs were always in this time period, however Lynn made me realise that this wasn’t essential at all as Cabaret clubs are still around nowadays and that we were probably just influenced into thinking this by musicals and films such as Cabaret. After discussing this I completely saw where she was coming from and realised how narrow minded I may have been, however soon we came onto the topic of the club not even having to have a time period at all, as it is irrelevant and could almost be separate from time itself, which is an idea I really liked the notion of as I felt it gave us so much more freedom and created a sense of mystery around the club.
Once we had decided on this we wrote down everyone’s ideas out on separate post it notes and stuck them on the white board so we could all see them and move them around easily, and then we worked together to sort them into groups of similar ideas and discussed how the different ideas could fit into the structure. I found this really interesting to do and felt it was a really practical way of going about what could be seen as an impossible task, as when you can see them all visually and are able to physically move them about it is much simpler task!
We grouped together ideas that wer repeated more than once, and ideas that were around a similar topic or medium; for example, all the ideas about split personality went together, and then as a sub group we put the dances about this together and then the songs together. When sorting through the post it notes of ideas we came across ideas that we simply thought didn’t fit the brief and our structural idea any longer and therefore held a discussion over the reasons for getting rid of the idea, before putting it to the side on a pile of neglected ideas. In this like we’re ideas such as: beauty and the beast medley, Ginger rogers ‘let’s call the whole thing off’, Romeo and Juliet, stromtrooper and Cell block tango – amongst others. We put Cell Block tango in the pile as we felt like it was way was to obvious and overdone.
We all agreed that we loved the idea of Saint Jimmy being almost the anthem of the club and after listening to the lyrics again as a forum we decided this would be a perfect number to include towards the beginning of the show. We also discussed the possibility of Saint Jimmy being the name of Club owner and also the name of the club; which the led us on to talk about him also being the MC type character who is omnipotent and not omniscient over everyone else, and has the deciding factor as to who is a Saint and who is a sinner.
Title of the show?
‘Saint Jimmy’s – The club at the end of the road’
I am proposing this is the name of our show as it sets up the notion that the piece is based around a club, and avoids the confusion we could face if we simply named the show ‘saints and sinners’, as audience members could be expecting a more spiritual or religious show based on saints and sinners in the literal sense. I like the idea of referencing the club as the club at the end of the road, as it has several possible connotations, firstly, the literal sense that the club is at the end of the road and everyone knows it and goes there, but also the idea that it could be meaning this in a more metaphoric way and suggesting the road is life and that once you reach the end of the life you are sorted into good and evil. I think by naming the piece something such as this it creates a sense of mystery around the title and intrigues for audience and already touches on the idea of this club not being all it seems.