Tuesday, 12 August 2008


We’ve been a bit slack really, we seven, in keeping up with this blog. Scripts and productions have come and gone and Not Much Attention has been paid. For example, I didn’t post the re-production of Gondwana, a piece I evolved with the kool kidz at Erth (they really are cool – check out their website at http://www.erth.com.au/Home.html) for Brisbane’s Out Of The Box Festival in June this year. (It went well – the combination of 10,000 kids and a set of scary dinosaurs is INFALLIBLE. We were proud.) Nor did I flag two radio plays of mine, Davy and Moon Door, on ABC Audio Arts that were broadcast some months apart this year. These are just my sins of omission – the rest of the 7-ONers have sins of their own.

BUT we are working on an interesting 7-ON project at the moment. We received funding from the Theatre Board in the last round to develop an adaptation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. This is not necessarily an easy gig but you can see how we might be attracted to it. Upside down morality, supermen, embattled translators, the perils of conformity, the emptiness of a materialist and acquisitive culture, huge butterflies, dancing songs, soothsayers, dwarfs, dead bodies placed in trees for ravens to pick their flesh. Fantastic.

We were very keen, however, to find a way to approach the material from an initial standpoint that was performative rather than textural. So we approached the Drama Dept at the University of Wollongong to see if we could work together in a way that might serve their students’ needs as well as ours. Ultimately they will evolve their version (called All Or Nothing) and we will evolve ours (Thus Spake Zarathustra). But in the meantime they’ll take advantage of us as seven very different writers , dramaturgs and in this case provocateurs and we’ll take advantage of their bodies and minds in space (under the direction of Chris Ryan.)

The method? After some weeks of 7-ON meeting to combine our individual ideas and research we prepared a series of five templates/provocations covering Parts 1 – 4 of Thus Spake Zarathustra and a further template covering Nietzsche’s life and times. This was to evolve the basic material of both versions of the original. We have committed to three further sessions of dramaturgical input to the results of the students’ work. At the moment we are taking it in turns for a couple of us to go down to Wollongong once each week to work with Chris and the students. We’re only halfway through. It’s been so interesting. Keep you posted. VL


Nathan said...

I mentioned on Tuesday that we had set up a myspace for the band for Zarathustra.
We just put up a demo of The Funeral Song (Where are they now).
If you want to check it out it's at www.myspace.com/disciplesfrommars

We've put a link to your blog on the page, if there's anything else you think we should do with it just let us know. Cheers!

7-ON said...

loved the song, nathan, looking forward to hearing the rest of them!