I was delighted to undertake such a wonderful challenge when Wise Thoughts, a North London arts charity, asked me to facilitate a short series of drama workshops. It was even more interesting because they suggested that I develop a one act production of my own choice as the basis of the teaching program. Luckily, I had at hand a dramatisation of the mesmerising story, Swifts, by Dominic O'Sullivan, a most unusual and spiritual writer.
From the very first session I realised that all the participants had a great deal of ability, commitment and a capacity to work well together as a team. With active assistance from the staff members of Wise Thoughts and from the playwright himself we were able to work much more quickly and easily towards our goal.
By using a minimum amount of props and generally concentrating on the 'actor/empty space' concept I managed to depict the slightly cold and mystical atmosphere central to O'Sullivan's story. The textual and visual sides of the performance were well balanced by highlighting the differences of delivery between the characters; dance and stage movement being used to delineate their differing inner worlds.
Swifts was performed in the autumn of 2004 as part of the Haringey Open Studios Event, an arts festival in North London.
The cast: Christopher Butler, Raquel Baetz, Frederic D'amore and Ron Aitken
Written by Dominic O'Sullivan
Directed by Dimitry Devdariani
Performed at the Karamel Club, London, in November 2004