In 1994 Manchester was designated the Arts Council’s City of Drama.
I became involved in recording some of the various theatrical manifestations that took place as part of this event.
I worked with the Royal Exchange theatre company, Contact Theatre, the NIA Centre and Manchester Metropolitan University and concentrated not only on the final performances but on every aspect of the preparations, being particularly drawn to those moments when the actors were warming up for the performance, conscious and unconscious movements and gestures, when the public and private aspects of the actors were most apparent.
Having spent time in the enclosed worlds of hospitals and prisons where very real and dramatic situations were the norm, here was a world in which the real and artificial were inevitably intertwined. A place of high emotional and dramatic intensity; the energy of the rehearsal room with its moments of release and control, the juxtaposition of spontaneous actions and strictly controlled ones was a continual source of inspiration to me.
The finished work was exhibited at the British Council and as a result of my involvement with director Annie Castledine I was invited to record her production of Women of Troy at the Royal National Theatre in 1995.