The Whole Story – Part 2: Precipice evolution

The first couple of times we performed Precipice it was at the KPA Shed on Waiheke Island.
The KPA Shed is our rehearsal space. It’s a big tin warehouse in the industrial zone. Kaleidoscope has been there for a few years now. We put in a dance floor, mirrors, and a small foyer area. A whole lotta love has gone into our shed. It has an 8 metre high ceiling, which is great for doing silks.
But it is not a theatre. It has no stage, no curtains, no seating area for the audience. When it rains the sound is deafening. It looks very industrial, inside and out.

From the beginning, the rawness of this tin shed suited the raw emotion of the show. The lack of curtains means that all scene changes are done in dimmed light, but are still visible to the audience. Which works, somehow, since Precipice is all about exposing things that are usually hidden. The lack of curtain changes has become integral to the theatrical effect of Precipice. Plus it means we can perform it almost anywhere (think high schools next year…)

At our shed, the audience are seated on cushions on tiered wooden benches which were once stairs built for props for a previous production. They make for a sore bum and not much leg room, with the backrest being the legs of the person behind. It never stopped us selling up to capacity though.

We have a lot of loyal fans and supporters on the island. (Thanks again for Boosted guys! 🙂 )

Anyway, so after the KPA Shed we took Precipice to a high school in Auckland. Great auditorium! Great dressing rooms! If only they had actually advertised it properly to their students…

Doh!

The few that came though, loved it so much that they came to see it again on the second night, and brought their friends.

It was pretty disheartening to perform to low numbers. I think the school got frightened of getting in trouble over the content of the show, and just neglected to tell the students about it.

It’s not that the show is that scary though. The school just succumbed to the prevailing culture of sweeping those big issues under a carpet of silence.

The problem is, silence doesn’t help. The power of Precipice lies in its fearless voice. Speaking about these things does help.

The emotional success of the show is proof of that.

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