15
May
13

Steven Mitchell Wright Speaks about his Sons of Sin

Who run the world?

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another
Proverbs 27:17

 

Sons of Sin

What makes a man a man?

 

SONS OF SIN, The Danger Ensemble’s most provocative production to date, lays bare the hopes, dreams and expectations of young men moving through rites of passage and across a minefield of history, pressures, demands and taboos towards manhood.

Classical text collides with raw confession. A lone voice stands against a call of the pack. Killers rise, angels fall. Love and brotherhood survive.

Featuring a bold and fearless cast of twenty-something male actors and riding a tidal wave of eclectic, cataclysmic beats and a haunting soundtrack (created and played live by the UK’s Henry Collins, aka The artist formally known as Shitmat, Planet Mu) SONS OF SIN inhabits an open, immersive space, placing the audience in the belly of the beast.

 

Part confessional, part music festival, a sporting match, a drinking game, a punch in the balls and a whole lot of testosterone, SONS OF SIN opens up the heart of manhood in crisis.

 

HOW’S THIS FOR A WARNING?!

 

WARNING
Suitable for ages 15+
Contains adult themes, full nudity, strong violence, coarse language, weapons, strobe lighting and theatrical smoke effects. Due to the visceral nature of Sons of Sin, patrons may get wet, dirty, splashed or spoiled and may wish to dress accordingly. 

 

Get ready. Steven Mitchell Wright is a director who gets people talking.

 

Before you see A Clockwork Orange see Sons of Sin.

 

Previews Thursday and opens Friday at The Judy.

 

Sons of Sin

SONS OF SIN. Who are they?

The cast has been assembled from a number of places. The cast is a group of young men that have all come from either Griffith University, Southbank Institute of Technology or Queensland University of Technology. I chose from this age group and those places because it’s essential for this work that the performers are age appropriate and can bring an authenticity to the material we are exploring.

 

The group of men the show is about is a much more difficult question to answer. They are the guy that lives next door, the guy you read about in the newspaper yesterday (the one who did that thing you can’t even fathom); they are the horror stories parents imagine for their children, they are your father or uncle or grandfather, they are the actors themselves, they are characters from history, myth, religion, Shakespeare…  they are the guys with fake tans and stringlets drinking fire engines at the Normanby on a Sunday.

 

Where did this story come from?

I’m reluctant to use the word story, or at very least reluctant to use story in a singular sense.  These stories have come from a lot of places… the actors themselves, history, myth, religion, news, and our imaginations.

 

Is it violent? The publicity images look as though it will be violent.

I just googled the definition of violent, just so I was sure… and no, I don’t believe the work is violent.  It is about a culture that is violent, it is about a world that is violent, the work itself is not violent.

 

All of the synonyms in the dictionary, vehement – fierce – intense – severe – furious – forcible,  the work is all of those things, but not violent.

 

Do we struggle to watch violence? 

I don’t think we struggle to watch violence at all.  I think we are largely comfortable as a culture with violence.  I think we find beauty, honesty and sensuality much more confronting.

 

What do you think are the current taboos – the things we don’t/won’t/can’t talk about – surrounding men?

If I tell you, I’m basically taking the lines out of the actors mouths for one or more of the scenes in the show and to be honest, I’m not sure what they are anymore, we’ve spent far too long in the rehearsal room – actually going into them and talking about them and exploring them that my sense of the faux pas is in no way indicative of current culture.

 

Is it always your intention to make “provocative” theatre?

I think all great theatre is an active provocation (to call forth – challenge), evocation  (to call out, rouse) or invocation (to call upon – implore), at times moving across all three.

 

Can you talk about your rehearsal process?

It really depends on the show, the form of the show, how the audience engages with the work and the other creatives/performers on the show.  I spend the majority of my time in the early stages trying to work out what the actors way into the work is and therefore what the heart of the work is, then the latter part of the rehearsal is a process of discovering how to deliver that heart to an audience.

 

I’m rarely the kind of director that will tell his actors what to do or how to do it.  I think my job is to create an environment that allows actors to make choices that are true to them and then problematise those choices, by problematise, I mean create a space where the choices are not achievable, that they are always being reached for.  I don’t believe acting is what happens when we arrive at a truth but rather the pursuit of it.

 

What about your creative process outside of the rehearsal room? When does it start and finish?

Again it varies on the work, but I find inspiration in all sorts of places. Then begins research, associative research, image based research, music based research, and once I have a feeling about a work that I can articulate or invite other artists to feel then I can begin discussing it.

 

I think the process actually really only finishes when I feel like the work needs to be killed, and that is either because it’s no longer relevant or I have lost interest or fallen out of love with it. (Some shows feel like lovers that can only be a short term fuck buddy, others feel like a lover you’ll keep coming back to because it’s just so good and some are those toxic mistresses that you fall for but they hurt you everytime and occasionally they feel like a meaningful darling that gives you as much as you give it and you meet and part amicably every time).

 

What would you suggest aspiring directors do to get a foot in the door?

  • Make work.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect time to start or the ideal environment to create in, there isn’t one.
  • Just start, make mistakes, learn.
  • See everything, discover what you like, what you hate, search for what you are passionate about or what angers you or baffles you – dig into that.
  • See international work.
  • Make work you don’t understand, try to understand it, don’t let the fact that you haven’t seen it before make you think you can’t do it, give yourself time (not too much), allow yourself to get it wrong.
  • Don’t ever think you have ‘got it’, you haven’t, it will evade you again.
  • Don’t forget it’s fun. Never underestimate how hard it can be. Remember again that it’s fun.

 

What do you wish you’d learned years ago about creating theatre?

Nothing.  I think you earn the lessons.  You can’t learn them too soon, you have to learn them by doing.

 

746029

Is there a director who has had a profound influence on your work?

I don’t think I can name just one, the work of Jan Fabre is the work that I think still inspire me the most, the philosophy and training of Tadashi Suzuki, Howard Barker’s writing…

 

I’m also profoundly influenced by work I hate, by work that bores me or angers me, often I find that inspires me in ways that great work doesn’t.

 

What keeps you going during rehearsals?

The actors inspire me and motivate me to no end and the company members and team around the company are hugely supportive, hard working and inspired by the work we are doing. I think that makes all the difference.

 

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. I think tea tastes like dirty sticks.

 

Wine or spirits?

Both. Occasionally at the same time, tequila and sparkling are pretty good together.

 

Favourite film?

No. I can’t commit to a favourite for forever. Right now, I think my favourite film is Silence of the Lambs. I’ve watched it 5 times this year.

 

warholphil

What are you reading?

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

 

What are you listening to?

Lots of Alloy Mental, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s latest album, Die Antwoord, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and I’ve been seeing a couple of local bands a lot recently that I’d recommend: LeSuits and The Worriers.

 

I know you don’t believe leggings are pants. Thousands would disagree. But what else should we know about you?

Ummm… I hate onion? I don’t look good as a blonde. I used to rollerskate, a lot.  I secretly love two musicals, only two.  I once auditioned for Popstars, I told everyone it was a joke, but secretly I dreamed of discovering a voice I never knew I had and being swept up into a world of stardom and glamour.  Grey’s Anatomy never fails to make me cry.

 

What does down time look like/sound like?

It looks like home-made pizzas, makeshift cinemas in my lounge room, dinners, beers, cocktails and poor-excuses-for-sleep-ins.

 

Preview – Thursday 16 May

All tickets: $19

Season

Full: $28

Concession/Groups 6+: $24

Student: $19 (one teacher free per 10 students)

Judy Tuesday: all tickets $19

 

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