Station House Opera

This post has been a little while coming and has just been spurred on by reading, with much amusement, about Andy Field’s provocative Steel This Workshop. Part of Live Art Development Agency’s DIY Series Andy is asking people to ‘rip off’ other people’s work in order to explore ideas of inspiration, appropriation and homage. I’ve been thinking in this area recently because Finger Trigger Bullet Gun, the show we are currently rehearsing for LIFT (who commissioned it) and later BE Festival involves dominoes.

The show involves dominoes because it is, in part, about the start of the First World war and the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand. The vast chain reaction from the finger pulling the trigger to fire the bullet from that gun suggested to me the mechanics of a domino topple. This is fine, but then at some point I remembered that Station House Opera have a vast breeze block toppling performance called Dominoes they have been doing since 2009. Now the two projects are significantly different and I wasn’t consciously thinking of their project when conceiving ours, but it is quite possible that without Station House Opera piece my brain wouldn’t have made that imaginative leap. So I feel I owe them another debt of gratitude.

‘Another debt’ because I love Station House Opera and find them inspirational. Cuckoo was the first theatre show I ever saw that I genuinely liked and was enthused by. They use of rules and interest in form is something that I must have absorbed quite deeply. The fact they remade Road Metal Sweetbread for each venue allowed me to think that Of All The People In All The World could be remade for each venue, as later could The Steps Series in a more radical way. I love the fact that they are serious and seriously funny. I especially love the fact that they push things hard and make things difficult for themselves. The fact that this sometimes means that a show doesn’t work very well makes them even more admirable in my eyes.

The fact that the are not absolutely nailed on Arts Council England revenue funded favourites is a travesty and shows there is no justice in the world.

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