A 2nd Bite at the Apple. 

Heart & Hand 2 was all about risk. When on stage a performer is continually making choices. The more extreme the choice the greater the risk. In my early training I witnessed one of the greatest risks I've ever seen in a performance. We were giving presentations for concert practice. A colleague made a dramatic entrance with random tufts of fur and fake oriental mustaches on his face.      

Martin and an audience member perform a scene together.

The mystery of this  crude makeup became clear when he announced that he would be singing a song from the musical, Beauty & The Beast. The voice wasn't bad, though there was a lot of drooling and at the end he ate the flower he had been singing too...

As you might imagine the interpretation didn't go down well, though, full marks for risk taking. This story illustrates the difficulty in creating a newly conceptualised performance. One may have a series of brilliant, creative ideas, but  unless these ideas are delivered within a proper framework they are doomed to failure. When putting together Hearts & Hands 2 we were experimenting with our own framework.   

The performance was, at its core, a Opera / music theatre concert. What made it different was the consistent use of multimedia, audience participation, elements of meditation and comedy. The performance space itself offered a whole range of challenging opportunities. We were in a church, singing in the round. The real risk was the combination and delivery of content, will the jokes work, will the audience participate or just sit there shaking their heads...(which has happened). This was an untried  concept show. The result was overwhelming!  Standing ovations at the end of act 1 & 2 + a totally unrehearsed encore. 

Greg McCreanor left

Martin Buckingham above