I finished reading Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; it’s a play about a family in the nineteenth century. The husband infantilises the wife, and she goes along with this behavior until an event occurs that breaks them out of this dynamic. It ends with her questioning her role of wife and mother and deciding to live alone in order to find out what she thinks about society’s expectations and rules. It was groundbreaking at the time it was published because it broke with the tradition of showing the woman’s place as in the home, serving the family. I was particularly struck by the resolve of the female protagonist, once she clearly saw the dynamics of their relationship, to leave and discover her own points of view. I thought about the possibility of creating a small structure and recreating this play in it, as I read. I emailed the lead tutor of the wood department at the university to ask for help in designing and building a doll’s house or room, but received no reply.
My friend, Chris, contacted me with an idea regarding the film: it could be a short, improvised film. He is a member of an improvised comedy troupe, along with another friend, Helen. Justine is also experienced in comedy improvisation and she plays the flute and the ukulele. I emailed all three to ask if they were willing to take part in the film and received agreement from each of them.
During the week, Russell Brand appeared on Jeremy Paxman’s Newsnight television programme and put forward his ideas about the unfairness of the current socioeconomic and political systems. I engaged in conversations about this topic on Facebook and, rather than revolution, I stated the need for conversations about what we would like instead of what we do not want any more. I decided the short improvised film would have the following premise: two shareholders, sensing the unrest of the under classes, set up camp at Devil’s Dyke for the weekend; they can feel a change coming. During the film I wanted a realisation of their roles in maintaining the unfair economic system to take place and an acknowledgement that they could not return to their old ways but were uncertain of how to live going forward.