RKDC in German Tour Newsletter April 2011
Over two periods, RKDC performed 6 shows at the Kunsthaus Tacheles. Arriving in the midst of a storm over the future of the building (one of the oldest free arts buildings in Berlin), we were amazed to see the politics of the situation. The audiences built up consistently each night, until we were at almost capacity and the cast received 2 standing ovations. Post show discussions were equally interesting- a different reaction to a work about war than in the UK.
After the first 3 shows the company spent a 5-day period improvising and researching Rosie Kay’s new work. Chris, Tilly, Chris and Michael were joined by former Wild Party dancer Sung-Im Her and by Rosie Kay dancing as well. A very exciting week created new ideas and brought up a totally new world of adventure for the company
After the research week, the company set off for the west, driving to Paderborn to stay and perform at Normandy Barracks and to 5th Battalion The Rifles. Staying in the officer’s quarters and eating each day at the officers mess was quite new to the company, but it was the workshops with the daughters of soldiers and the performance itself that were the highlights. The company spent 1 day working with 8 teenage girls to create a 7-minute version of 5 Soldiers, which was performed as a curtain raiser. The show was then performed for pre-deployment troops- to whom the threat of injury is a very real danger. In 6 months time these people will be in Afghanistan themselves.
Last night was incredible; ‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem enough…I think we have achieved what I personally, was trying to get which is more open and honest discussion about the realities of what is happening. We all have fears to face but unless we talk about them and find a positive way to express them, they become demons.
By facing ‘demons’ before events happen you have the opportunity to develop strategies. This surely would allow you to deal more practically with any event that presented itself.
Please leave knowing that you have definitely humanized many ‘taboo’ issues- you have lifted the forcefield of “it will never happen to me” and you have also brought two communities of young people together under a general understanding that whilst ‘the body is the frontline’ we are all human an that is ‘the bottom line’!
With the deepest respect for all of you as professionals but also as people who have taken the time to see soldiers as human beings too.
By Wendy Faux, Childcare Business Support Manager, Army Welfare Service, Normandy Barracks
I was moved by both performances. This was a rare and unique opportunity for our young people and our community. Thank you for putting the humanity of warfare at the forefront of the performance. In my work I only know soldiers as mums and dads, so it was brilliant insight for me.
Sandy- Youth Worker, Army Welfare Service, Normandy Barracks
Overall, we felt that the tour was a success, and it was incredible to present the work to a new audience with totally new perspectives, both in Berlin and Paderborn. In fact the shows after Paderborn seemed to be infected by the realisation of how real the work is, and how much it affects soldiers, all of whom told us they loved it- one soldiers saying- it’s the only thing I’ve never drifted off in! Thanks to Wendy Faux and Sandy as well as all the girls at Paderborn, and special thanks to Milos Vuijkovic and Linda at Tacheles. Massive thanks to Tilly Webber, Chris Linda, Chris Vann, Michael Spenceley, Tomasz Moskal, Sung-Im Her, Simon Broadbridge, Hannah Sharpe and Louis Price.