On the back of the Würzburg festival, Fast Forward Theatre generously invited Julia and I to join their stage in Marburg. FFT’s Martin and Christian run a show in an endearing, wood-stove heated box room, playing with different formats week on week. Julia and I took 25 minutes in the first half to do a twoprov that kicked off with something between an organic opening and Matthieu Loos/Marko Mayerl’s matter-working image approach: intuitively finding a physicality/action onstage and allowing your observing partner to name and make sense of it. We then moved into a series of scenes. It was interesting and I think a nice gentle start to the night, but there are definitely things we are learning about playing together: we have a tendency to slide into realism very quickly and although this can be refreshing sometimes the playfulness can be sidelined, in spite of how much we enjoy it. We chewed this over the next day pretty comprehensively; one of the things I love about working with Julia is that we can love the work but also talk about it objectively and robustly.
We checked in on the crowd at the top of the show as to whether some English in the show would be ok, and although they gave no objections, we were all aware that it was an indulgence that shouldn’t be taken too far. Accordingly, the rest of the show was entirely non-English language. The native speakers ran a fun narrative set together, and in the second half we did a series of short-form games. Given that prior to August my German language was pretty much limited to wunderkind, kartopfelkopf and danke, and is only dimly beyond that now, this was a fun first for me. As I suspected, the restrictions perversely freed me up, urging me to bigger characters, more physicality and strong, raw emotions. It was a ton of fun and seemed to delight the audience, proving the Johnstonian maxim that impro audiences are happy paying money to see people screw up good naturedly on-stage.