HerStory: audience feedback

As part of our relationship with Snape Maltings during this stage of the project, we agreed to host a sharing of the work in progress. These sharing platforms at Snape have taken many different formats, so we knew we could make it useful to our process and where we were at. We knew it would be useful to:

  1. See the overriding arc of the narrative and energy of the overall piece in front of a live audience.
  2. Try some transitions from scene to scene, as we anticipated this to present a challenge at times.
  3. See some completed scenes in front of an audience, including at least one full physical scene.
  4. Find out what is most important and memorable for the audience about the work so far.
  5. See if there were any holes in the narrative.
  6. See the whole flow of the piece and where more or less movement might help to keep an interesting journey for the audience.
  7. See how the film and animation adds to, or could distract from the live performance and narrative.

I think we were all surprised at how much we achieved in such a small amount of time, but I think having a sharing at such an early stage helped with this. Working towards this common goal, knowing we were going to go public created an excitement and confidence in decision making and gelled the group quickly. We were able to achieve all of the above and received the following useful feedback.

What stuck with the audience…

  1. Margaret in the third person, rather than having a face to the name
  2. The end film was moving and poignant

Things to think about…

  1. Text in the animation would help to follow the narrative
  2. More film as this was so popular
  3. Narrative (more explicit at some points and introduce some characters more clearly, eg Margaret’s sister)
  4. Could be longer (possibly expanding on her life in Australia

Other reflections from the creative team…

  1. More movement is definitely possible throughout
  2. The sharing was an important part of the process
  3. Use of professional performers moving forwards is beneficial