Kin | Interview | Axis Theatre
Interview by: Caomhan Keane
KIN looks at the changing relationship between middle-aged children and their ageing parents - how you negotiate those often subtle changes in later life - as you yourself are getting older and the realisation that your parents are going to need more support. Donna Rutherford, who devised and performs in the piece talks here to Caomhan Keane.
What exactly can we expect to see on stage?
As the audience enter I am setting up three small tables where I shall I have morning coffee, afternoon tea and then evening cocoa - I speak directly to the audience about the issues. Next to each table is a TV screen where we see 5 other performers discussing their relationship with their real parents, alongside cutaway images of them in the kitchen with their mum... or Tim working in the garden with his mum.
Where did the idea come from? What piqued your interest?
I have been making work for over 20 years stemming from personal story-telling. Being 42 and my parents both 75 now, I can clearly see the changes drifting into our relationship over the last few years. Rushing into hospital with them having serious health scares alongside persuading them to take things a bit easier or perhaps hand in their drivers licence! Also seeing friends and peers having the same experience - getting to grips with the frustrations and fears of the inevitable yet difficult to broach areas of later life.
How did you develop it?
KIN was developed though a year's residency working with the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow (in collaboration with National Health Service Greater Glasgow & Clyde) and funded by Creative Scotland's Partners Fund. Alongside interviewing and editing the 5 performers and writing/ researching my own text, I also conducted a series of audio interviews with 7 pairs of mothers/ daughters/ son and fathers - which toured around Waiting Rooms in local hospitals and health centres in the form of a Listening Post.
Tell me about the link between testimonies and live performance?
The performers-to-camera speak very candidly and directly about their personal concerns and observations within their own families - I pick up on similar points with a more poetic text, jumping from speaking as my father, to myself, to explaining how hourglasses run faster after use as the sand's friction grinds the neck wider - while breaking off into snippets of song ("it's been a long cold lonely winter, it seems like years since its been here...")
What kind of people do you have doing the testimony?
All 5 performers are involved in devising theatre - we work in similar ways - we have known each others work over the years and therefore have a sort of short-hand and a trust that is in place. For them I think KIN has been the most personal they have been in their public work.
Wednesday May 9th, 2pm
Droichead Arts Centre
Book online: www.droicheadartscentre.com*
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Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Wednesday 9th May 2012 | Theatre
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