Shaking the Tale performer Maggie Hannon sends a despatch from Gdańsk where she is taking part in the final Shaking the Walls project, Shake Fear | Break Walls.
“We’ve been busy the last couple of days. Meeting in small groups to work on individual scenes as well as all getting together in the evenings. We’re learning lines, trying out moves, connecting with the play, our roles and each other. We did a full run through last night, there were some transcendent moments and at the end, singing the final song, a palpable joy and energy. It was as if the group was transformed.
“The keys? Music (Shakespeare, Gummi and Philip have written great songs, catchy and deep simultaneously) and us, the participants, together, working, listening and open. There is fun and there are deep conversations about things that matter- walls we want to break, what this project means to us, how we connect with the text. I feel that there is a real opportunity for growth here if I have the courage. I would like to live up to my role.
I had an interesting conversation with one participant yesterday about masks (we use the the transparent ones in rehearsal). She shared that she felt a lot more comfortable with her face hidden. ‘Behind the wall’; Where you can’t see the expressions. And then she proceeded to play her role sublimely. It’s that courage that inspires me everyday – to give my best and step out from these walls that comfort and oppress at the same time. They build up in our minds first.”
Maggie Hannon, 14 November, Gdansk
Shake Fear | Break Walls
Authoritarianism, Borders, Censorship, Domestic violence, Equality.
The barriers and walls that divide us are everywhere; some you can see and some you can’t.
This Parrabbola project, co-created with all of the Shaking the Walls partners and with community participants from Gdansk, looks at these walls and how to break some of them down. It will be presented at the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival on 21, 22, 23 November 2020.
Shaking the Tale is part of Shaking the Walls, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The project is led by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (Poland), the other partners are Parrabbola (UK), Cooltour Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Ratatam (Iceland). As well as Creative Europe, our co-funders for Shaking the Tale include the Donegal County Council, Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.