"The Choreography by Matt was modern, very exciting and often powerful"
"The choreography is contemporary, hypnotic and I love the punk elements"
Choreographer & Production Designer
Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton - September 2018 - Regis Theatre
Director: Ollie Turner | Musical Director: Tom Watkins | Stage Manager: Katie Bird |
Technical James Durose
Based on Frank Wedekind's play of the same name, Spring Awakening depicts a dozen young people making their way through the thrilling, complicated and mysterious time of awakening. In an electric score of rock and pop, stories of love, loss and growing up for an epic emotional adventure.
Programme Note (September 2018):
Spring Awakening was the first show that made me want to make theatre. And to be given that opportunity while that love and passion for the work is so alive is a true honour. When Ollie first
approached me to choreograph and work with him on the show, a bunch of images and ideas came to life for the work presents itself as a blank canvas. The biggest thing on our part initially was creating the strong distinction between ‘real world’ and ‘song world’. Each number has it’s own unique design in style and in movement acts as the characters internal thoughts as the world around them freezes or passes by. We were inspired with the glare of neon and the electric contrast to nature this brought about which is heavily incorporated into the overall design.
This is my first time choreographing and in no way would I say I’m a trained dancer. The contemporary styling of the choreography allowed us to be heavily experimental. A few particular favourite numbers of mine are The Mirror Blue Night: combining light with movement in a simple yet effective manner and the integration of sign language in number such as Touch Me and Purple Summer (thanks to the incredible Milly Shawcross for her invaluable translations!) Using Sign created this silent, unspoken
language which we’ve integrated throughout the piece to create a divide between the adults and children. The adults, fluent in ‘the truthful language’ that the children fail to translate echoing the ultimate downfall of the world: lacks of communication on important themes.
Initially with the world building, we had added a layer of projection to the piece which we removed due to cost. However, this presented a very fun challenge in creating physical interventions in the space to create these different locations. With a mixture
of locations, subtle additions to the set allow our minds to be transported to these new locations. A particular moment we’re most proud of is Totally Fucked. Our natural set becomes distorted with graffiti and quite literally collapses in front of you as Melchior's world comes tumbling down.
Spring Awakening further presents a challenge of staging intimacy on stage. The industry standards on this at present are lacking which is heavily surprising. Scenes of intimacy can be difficult for actors to perform and there are horrific case studies of actors and creatives feeling lasting damage on their wellbeing. I am thrilled to have trained with Ita O’Brien as she develops her Intimacy on Set Guidelines to provide best practice when working with intimacy, scenes with sexual content, and nudity in film, TV, and theatre. For more information on these, please visit http://www.itaobrien.com/intimacy-on-set.html.
Matt designed the Lighting, Set, Costume & Marketing for the production alongside choreographing movement.