Letters to Londrina

Everyone’s individual letters and mementos are gently folded into a nest of coloured tissue paper tied with a skein of red wool. All week we have been playing with words. How do we express our dreams? What secrets do we share? How do we parcel up packets of ourselves for transportation to Brazil? We wrap scents and objects together with the folded texts.

The day began with the company sitting on grass under the shade of London Plane trees. Gwen had arrived with the huge bag of wool. Three pounds from the sprawling flea market encamped outside the theatre.

“Where d’you think it comes from?”, she challenged. “Recycled. You’re not afraid of death are you?”

The company imagines the contents of their homes appearing on market stalls: “what goes around, comes around”. And so our working day begins with this prelude, this gentle meditation on the transience of things.

It is one of those ‘rights of passage’ days. We are starting out on The Tempest Project, the beginning of a collaboration with Entelechy’s sister company Casa Das Fases from the southern Brazilian city of Londrina. For the last few months we have been flirting with each other. Now the serious dating begins. Older participants from our two cities begin the long haul process of getting to know each other.

In the very last scene of The Tempest all of the shipwrecked players who have been on their separate journeys about the island, are brought together. They find each other and “all of us ourselves, where no man was his own.”

Theatre creates this space for a re-imagining. The anguished: ‘what will become of me?’ has the possibility of being transformed into the excitement and curiosity of: ‘what will become of me?’

That’s the thrill of the project. This shared imagining between minds and bodies 6020 miles apart. “What might?” asks Antonio in Shakespeare’s play. So the adventure begins. What might?

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