For me creative thinking is about two things: being open and being silly. If you’re open and willing to play and explore your practice with other people, you’ll find directions and material that you never imagined.
We talk to Roxana from Indomitable Productions on their new play Photo Finish and what it’s like to be in a contemporary performance collective.
Can you tell us a bit about Indomitable Productions?
We first formed Indomitable around one particular show. Co-founders Guy and Jess came to me with an idea and from there we decided to be a proper company. Since then Guy Withers (Tenor, Graphic Designer Puppeteer and all round creative) and I steer Indomitable Productions. We now see ourselves as a collective of people rather than a company. For us it’s about collaborating with creative people we respect and whose work we are inspired by. My rule is if they challenge the way I see the world, then I want to work with them.
We make work based on content and not form. If there’s a good idea then I think that during rehearsal it will find its own genre. We don’t restrict it or decide before it happens. I also believe the work we make is dependent on who is in the room. This maybe sounds silly or obvious, but I really think it’s integral. We don’t limit ourselves to opera, but because of the people we bring to the space it does tend to be music orientated.
It’s the word ‘collective’ that I love. We get to meet these incredibly creative people, bring them together and make work from the places where we share joy or anger or wonder.
How do you use creative thinking in your work?
For me creative thinking is about two things: being open and being silly. If you’re open and willing to play and explore your practice with other people, you’ll find directions and material that you never imagined. We spend so much time from our perspective; up in our heads, where we learnt what we know. Sometimes the biggest gesture of trust is about saying, ‘wait… how do you see this?’ and it offers you all a new place to work from.
The psychological goodness of laughter comes from silliness and that’s what I think should fill the rehearsal room. It’s these silly ideas that feel like gut-instincts that excite me most. Once you’ve made space for people to take and offer these creative risks, it places foundations in for the bigger creative risks. For me this is what builds a good working relationship.
What’s the best part about being in Indomitable Productions?
I think for me, it’s the fact that I have other people to make stories with. It’s the word ‘collective’ that I love. We get to meet these incredibly creative people, bring them together and make work from the places where we share joy or anger or wonder.
I think it’s relevant and something that we’re perhaps not even ready to discuss yet; it’s that which really excites me.
Tell us a bit about the new play your producing, Photo Finish?
Photo Finish is a new play by James Rushbrooke, winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing. It’s a one-man show in the style of a Ted-Talk, which tells the story of Luke’s journey to find the girl he fell in love with on the back of a Polaroid picture. The play looks at romance, determination and leaps into the unknown.
I’ve always been inspired by James’s writing, to me his style is a mix of Mike Bartlett and Charlie Brooker. It’s exciting but also scary as every time I read his work I end up realising that what he’s talking about is not that dissimilar to our world. Photo Finish is no different, I think it’s relevant and something that we’re perhaps not even ready to discuss yet; it’s that which really excites me.
We are also working with Ollie Savidge, who is lighting and projection designer for the show. His skills alone are enough of a reason to see it in my opinion, but you’ll have to come along to find out!
I think producing for me is about loving what you’re selling. Because that is what it is, it’s a sort of transaction.
What advice would you give someone looking to get in to producing?
I think producing for me is about loving what you’re selling. Because that is what it is, it’s a sort of transaction. If you love the show, then you’re the best person to sell it on. My advice is to find a demographic that love it like you do and your job will be easier. Although it takes more time than you think, ultimately writing marketing material is just an equation. Read some copy and you’ll spot it, it’s just a slightly different language.
The best piece of producing advice I got was: don’t work when you’re tired. I know we’re all exhausted creatives, but seriously, if you’re tired take a nap and start a fresh. Whether it’s your show or someone else’s, it’s not worth you getting ill!
You can see Photo Finish at the Waterloo East Theatre on the 23rd-25th July. To book tickets visit the Theatre’s website. If you would like to find out more about Indomitable Productions have a look at their website here.