We are so lucky that we have had the brilliant Mathew McKay, fight director, actor and stuntman extraordinaire, in the rehearsal room to play with us. Mat and I first worked together last year choreographing a scene which we called ‘kinky gay wrestling’. You can’t help but bond over that sort of experience, so obviously I was delighted that he was available to come and work with us on Feathers.
Until he had me demonstrate stage combat with him. AH!
He’d probably be kind about it but I know I showed myself up generally being gauche when trying to remember all his exercises about taking power into your body and being safe and what exactly do you do when somebody socks you in the face. But when we started mapping out power exchanges and how to play the game, and when the game stops being a game, and layering how we communicate that physically, we found so much more ambiguity and intensity of feeling than I thought possible at the beginning of the day. It was a powerful experience.
I don’t want to spoil it, but the scene is fierce and extraordinary and frightening, and I am fascinated about what you will all think of it.