SST7 – brief – Joel Kelly

30 May

Say Sum Thin 7 Brief
Joel Kelly

I’m thinking of having three objects on stage (from left to right): A passport on a dresser, A landline telephone with the receiver suspended in the air (wire could be used), and a long mirror. Each object will have a microphone put towards it so that it is seen as the speaker. The three voices/poets will not be visible, speaking from microphones offstage. I was hoping to use a spotlight on the object that is speaking (so it would be one object visible at a time). Even when an object isn’t speaking, the light could flash to one of them, almost as if it is reacting to what the other has said. EG:
Mirror: what is real?
Spotlight to light up the passport, then telephone, and then back to the mirror before the voice continues.

If possible I would like a bedroom wall projected/displayed at the back with an over the top, unrealistic Kazakh style (traditional art, a picture of a horse, Kazakh traditional dress, a flag). I’m very interested in Orientalism especially the concept that within literature and media the West projects it’s idea of the East and therefore displaces and misrepresents the East. It would be the equivalent of someone displaying an English bedroom full of pictures of the Queen, a model of Big Ben, red buses, top hats etc. I think this over the top Kazakh bedroom would help the audience to identify the subject whilst also causing a sense of displacement on two levels: visually and through Orientalism.

The poems themselves are an attempt to show the displacement of a Kazakh national in England. The phone her voice to her parents, who are in Kazakhstan and wish to pull her back to their way of life. The mirror is her inner dialogue and true reflection. The passport is the metaphor for her identity and what is real.

Below are the poems written as a script (which are only a draft and are to be rewritten by collaborators):

I saw my face on the news
Behind the army, Behind my family
Behind my father, the general
Everyone was behind my father
Maybe it wasn’t me
I’m too close, I’m reflecting

When I throw the last one off the roof
I make a plan incase of fire

Phone: Mother it was next door,
My neighbours are terrible
The English are terrible
Father I’m sorry

*lights off briefly to show the passing of time*

My passport was stolen
I can’t come home
I know I know I know
I need more money
That was stolen too
I know I know I know
I’ll come home soon

I know I said I’d go back
But I’m on the roof again
Burning paper against my lips
The passport is safe
Nationality : Kazakh
What does that mean now I’ve been
To Dubai and sat on English roofs

I mean what is..
What is real?
passport isn’t
I am the worst Muslim
I know

I can’t rhyme in any language
My heads too full
I’d back the army
In English
And the people in Russian
And the Quran

Phone: I’ve changed my mind
Wheres that passport
The number you’ve called is…
No not now
Mirror:Smoke from the drainpipe
The roof
Passport: Grab the Quran, go home.

What I’m looking for are two people to take on a role, rewrite and rework their part, and then work in a group to put the pieces together. I am open to any input on how you would make this piece stronger. This is just a starting point.






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