This film was displayed as part of a site-specific play/film/performance in my flat in Brighton, UK. The scenes were filmed in three rooms in my flat, lounge, bedroom and kitchen. Three screens were installed, one in each room, and room-specific scenes were screened during the performance. Person With Clipboard (PWC) had control of when the scenes were shown in between improvised performance. The film shows two people, Him and Her, who have mysteriously time travelled from the future to 2014. They arrive in Woman’s flat, where they get to know one another little before PWC instructs them to move to the kitchen where a conversation with Woman allows the unravelling of themes of domestic abuse and climate catastrophe. During the performance, Him and Her are dressed like PWC (in white shirts and black trousers) and observe the goings on, whilst Woman involves the audience in trying to work out why they have come back and what is going on.
Written and directed by Julia Fry.
Camerawork by Edmund Lloyd-Winder.
Justine Smith – Her
Andrew Cain – Him
Ric Morris – Person With Clipboard
Julia Fry – Woman
This film formed part of my presentation of the site-specific play / film / performance of Play In My Flat on Thursday 27 March 2014.
These are the notes I used:
- written November 2009
- for 4 characters: Him, Her, PWC and Woman
- tried to put it on before but didn’t work out
- success of 2nd year show gave me confidence
- rehearsed over 5 sessions in prep for filming
- each scene would be one continuous shot
- I planned activities for each rehearsal and was open to hearing what the actors needed; often we co-created workshops
- I realised early on I needed to be able to delineate my roles because I had so many
- we filmed the rehearsals from the beginning to get the sense of being watched as it was an important theme for the project
- the fourth wall is broken often
- we filmed it on 11 March 2014 and I’d like to thank Edmund Lloyd-Winder for his camerawork and observations
- the final scene was 17 minutes long and I didn’t realise what a big ask it was of the actors until Edmund observed it
- the first 3 scenes and an edited 4th scene to give you an idea of themes
- screens were fixed to the walls in the lounge, kitchen and bedroom and room specific scenes were screened in order
- I’m going to show scenes and photos from the dress rehearsal, Fri night and Sat night in order to compare them
- we had the camera on a small tripod for the first two shows and on the third Him held the camera and Her held the dictaphone instead of clipboards
- general theme of confusion introduced at the start by asking the audience what they were doing there
- Him and Her were dressed in white shirts and black trousers to match PWC. Research on time was pinned to my wall with red string (a loose connection to string theory) connecting points.
- I’d like to thank Matt for installing and taking down the screens, with a little help from me.
- Him and Her did not speak during the performance – their aim was to observe – Him observing me and Her observing the audience. My role was to try to work out why they’d come back and why the audience was in my flat.
- We decided to play it like we had on the dress rehearsal. The documentation wasn’t as successful as I would have liked – the camera didn’t follow the audience.
- We decided to stage it slightly differently – instead of me coming out of my bedroom, shocked at the audience’s presence, when they’re in the hall I waited until they’d been in the lounge a while. We thought it might create more of a sense of confusion and not knowing what to do. Also, instead of clipboards, Him held the camera phone and Her held the dictaphone as recording devices. We set an intention of bringing the domestic violence theme out more in the interactions, which meant I had to pay more attention to the 4th scene filmed in the kitchen. Because of my personal history with the subject matter, I found this disturbing.
- We realised that setting an intention allowed certain ideas to be expressed.
Can you crack the code? Person With Clipboard observes and makes notes about Woman during his time travelling events in Woman’s flat. What do the notes mean? Why is he observing Woman? Why does he seem to bring two conflicted people with him every time he visits?
In between takes. Edmund Lloyd-Winder (cinematographer), Ric Morris (Person With Clipboard) and Justine Smith (Her) take a break during filming, whilst the director (Julia Fry) pores over the footage in her bedroom.
Off camera in the kitchen. Piling up the mess out of view of the lens allows the kitchen to look tidy on screen.
No paparazzi, please! Justine practices for when she’s famous.
Ric uses a little-known method to memorise his lines.
Credit to Andrew Cain for taking the photos.
Play In My Flat is a site-specific play/film/performance; main themes are time travel, domestic abuse and climate catastrophe. Tickets to performances on Friday 21 March 7-8pm and Saturday 22 March 7.30-8.30pm are available here.