Welcome to our production diary, where we’ll take you on a journey through the inner workings of Foreign Affairs, an artist-led company, including our current production, The Wetsuitman, playing at the Arcola Theatre from Tuesday 29 August to Saturday 2 September.
If you’re new to Foreign Affairs, let’s start with some introductions – we’re Camila & Trine, the creative duo behind the company. As co-founders and artistic directors, we practically do everything, covering all aspects of running the company. We founded FA as actors and have learned everything along the way. Today, Trine takes lead on directing, while Camila covers production management, and we co-produce all of our work and design our bespoke training programmes. But, truth be told, we’re a dynamic team, and our roles often blend and intertwine – we’re not big fans of boxes.
So, what’s this diary all about? Well, every week (on Tuesdays), we’ll share our adventures and misadventures from the previous week, giving you an exclusive peek behind the scenes of our work.
Camila & Trine in front of Jackson’s Lane
A week in the life of FA (aka Camila & Trine)
To start with, let’s give you a taste of what last week looked like (mind you, this was a particularly busy one):
- Monday: Brainstorming with Amy, our fantastic lighting designer, and meetings and strategising for our upcoming autumn and 2024 projects.
- Tuesday: Maria, our fabulous engagement coordinator, joined the team today, and we’re thrilled to have her on board! Together, we delved into planning exciting activities around the production and honing our autumn programmes for young people.
- Wednesday: Creative session with the amazing Franck, our movement director, to rework choreography and staging. We’ve been working with Franck since 2014, and we love getting into the room together, letting all the practical stuff go so we can just be creative. The day reached new heights when we received the most thrilling news, leaving us bursting with excitement and anticipation for the future!
- Thursday: A day of connections and celebrations! We met with funders and partners, discussing exciting new ventures (stay tuned!). And even though we were up to our ears in admin, we took an evening off to celebrate the news we mentioned earlier and treated ourselves to some bubbles.
- Friday: Tackling all things administrative, financial and communicative, while also juggling mum-duties (Camila that is) so as to get things in order before Camila heads off to Portugal.
We even squeezed in marketing and general production in between, plus a Sunday Zoom meeting with our sound designer, Niki! Phew! It’s a wild, plate-spinning act, but we thrive on the excitement.
Some thoughts on our creative process
Now, let’s give a sneak peek into our creative process for The Wetsuitman. We’re taking an existing production first staged in 2022 and breathing new life into it, transporting it to a new space – an intimate studio theatre. The original production was presented in an unconventional space (that’s our thing!), and literally had audiences at its core, with actors moving around them. Our challenge? To adapt this dynamic to a static setting, without losing the essence of the original piece.
And here’s the big question we’re currently pondering: What is the relationship between performers and audiences in this fresh rendition? As we generally perform in unconventional spaces, this relationship is often very different from a more traditional theatre—more intimate and personal. So, how do we bring this sense into this iteration, or perhaps we don’t? To help us explore this question, we have the original cast and creative team on board, joined by two brilliant technical designers. We couldn’t be more excited! The creativity in the room is practically tangible, and we can’t wait to share this next leg of our theatrical journey with you.
Franck & Trine hard at work
Oh, and before we wrap up this entry – did we mention that Camila doubles as our in-house photographer? All of our diary images are by Camila. Yes, that’s right! It’s all part of the charm of being a micro artist-led company.
Well, that’s it for our very first diary entry. We hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour of our lives at Foreign Affairs. Stay tuned for the next instalment as we try to keep all the plates spinning.
Até logo. På gensyn. Until next time.
Camila & Trine
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