Have you worked with deaf and disabled artists before?
At Motionhouse we’ve always made a point of working with everyone. We’ve worked with virtually every section of society in venues ranging from maximum security prisons to village halls. The experience we have as a company stood us in good stead for working on the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.
What were the biggest challenges you faced?
There were a number of challenges, from translating the artistic directors' vision to working with people with a vast range of physical abilities between the ages of 18 and 80. It was my job to make everything interact and to create human unity in the production.
What part of the ceremony are you most proud of?
I feel we broke the mould with the ceremony; we were able to create a moving, beautiful spectacle, which the audience had an emotional response to. I’m also very proud of the volunteers for working so hard to realise the vision for the show.
What did the experience teach you?
It taught me the whole next level of how you can take an event and do it on a huge scale. Interestingly, it’s the same principles you have to hold dear no matter how large or small the event. It’s about timing, accessibility and keeping a clear vision of what you want to create. The difference is the degree of organisation and the way you structure things. Managing that on a large, commercial scale was very exciting.
How did you devise the concept for The Voyage, which you staged for the London 2012 Festival?
We were looking for a simple tie-in with the Games, and we decided to focus on the theme of hope. All the athletes were travelling to London in hope – whether that be of winning medals or simply getting through their heats. To illustrate that, we built a ship in the centre of Birmingham - Britain’s most land-locked city - and created a show around it. It was unusual and grabbed everybody’s attention.
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