The other day we met in a classroom and worked out a plan for the show…


Original plan for B.B.B movement projected in classroom.

There are two areas of the stage:

1) THE BACK WALL for performance of visual text


There are two lighting states – one for the A.Lone text and one for the B.B.B text.

On THE FLOOR there is an electric piano with stand attached to a laptop and a piano stool.

During A.Lone state, on THE FLOOR Karen sits at piano and improvises in playing the pre-recorded A.Lone text, each line of which is programmed to a different note, while Ryan improvises with movement using the ten gestures connected to the A.Lone text. On THE BACK WALL is projected ‘truisms’ taken from the A.Lone text.

During B.B.B. state, Karen sits in the centre of THE FLOOR on the piano stool and improvises with movement, sometimes standing up and walking to the edge of an imagined circle, then walking round the circle at varying speeds, sometimes stopping and returning to the stool. Meanwhile on THE FLOOR, outside this circle Ryan improvises in vocalising one of four chants taken from the B.B.B text. On THE BACK WALL is projected questions taken from the B.B.B text.

The transition from A.Lone to B.B.B is initiated by Karen who moves the piano stool from the piano to the centre of THE FLOOR.

The transition from B.B.B to A.Lone is initiated by Ryan who moves the piano stool from the centre of THE FLOOR to the piano.

As the performance progresses, the actions belonging to either state may cross over in various ways, as improvised.

THE BACK WALL may also be used to project a live and delayed-live video stream of onstage action that appears and reappears during the performance.


Ryan has been through the text of ‘The Boy / The Bachgen / The Buachaill’ to find these chants and questions. The chants can be voiced live in the performance and the questions can be used as visual texts, possibly projected:









I go, he passes the word

I walk, he turns

I walk, he comes

I pass the word, he passes no word

I turn, he goes

I come, he goes

I pass no word, he goes

I go, he goes

I go, he goes

I go, he goes

I go

I go

I go


My bright colourful mouth

(His sleeping breath)

My tar mouth

(His sleeping breath)

My thick iron mouth

(His sleeping breath)

My mesh mouth

(His sleeping breath)

My heavy peeling mouth

(His sleeping breath)

My paint mouth

(His sleeping breath)


the Bachgen

the Buachaill
the Boy


Was it the shorts?
Was it the trunk?
Was it the trunks on the trunk?

To what end?
To what act?
What’s the pollen?

Do I look like a flower?

Where is the point where we passed?

Are all oaks the same oak?
Are all trees the same tree?

Am I here?

Am I awry?
Am I askew, weak as I am?
Am I assymetrical?
Will it work?

Is he sleeping in there, sick in bed?

What lies there? What surfaces?

This way or this way?

Am I there?

What can we do?

What picnic for the table / To picture the Buachaill asleep?

Would life outlive the ritual?

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Today we began to look at choreography for A.Lone. Karen had translated A.Lone’s ten tasks into simple gestures – in this video Ryan runs through them in the order they appear and reappear in the text.

We then improvised using this gestural vocabulary, joining up and moving between the ten gestures.

Although working alongside each other, these were separate ‘monologues’ that sometimes chimed together or worked in opposition.

We noticed a sort of punctuation consisting of moments of non-gesture and full body turns to the left or right.

Joining the gestures in phrases meant that speeds and direction of gesture might vary.

We considered structuring gestures around ‘days’ which might be marked by sound phrases or by one of us completing a circle walking around the other. These ‘days’ would connect the gestures back to their original tasks, so that for example the gesture derived from ‘brushing teeth’ might come at the beginning and end of the day, although there would be room for variation.

Last night we met up to discuss gestural possibilities in performing the A.Lone text.

Karen made a list of gestural instructions from the text. It began with these terms:



Lean forward.

Lean back.

Lie down straight.



Call out.

Ryan had concentrated on two specific phrases. The first was ‘picking groceries’ which he defined in the following way:

Picking groceries requires two or more of the same grocery item. For example two oranges.

The first phase of picking groceries relies either on sight, which may be obstructed, or touch, either squeezing or assessing weight.

In the second phase of picking groceries either nothing happens (not picking groceries = picking groceries) or one of the items is selected and either put into a basket or a trolley.

The second phrase Ryan focused on was: A.Lone turns to Al. Ryan identified 84 variations on this one gestural phrase.

Ryan sets a novelty hen timer for 7.5 minutes

Karen has a clipboard.

Ryan reads out numbers on a jar. Karen reads from the clipboard the task it is connected to. Ryan hands a jar to a member of the audience.

This sequence is repeated until all ten jars have been distributed.

Ryan and Karen look out at the audience. When they are ready they approach the jars.

For the rest of the time until the alarm goes off Ryan and Karen interact with the jars:

blowing into a jar
reading the text through the jar glass
setting a jar on a surface e.g. the floor
clinking a jar with another jar
circling the rim of a jar against another jar
speaking into the jar
lifting the jar with hand inside the jar

When the alarm goes off Ryan puts the jars back where they were. Karen continues to interact with her jar.

Ryan sets out three stacks of cards and holds one card in his hand.

Ryan begins to recite ‘the Boy, the Buachaill, the Bachgen; the Boy, the Buachaill, the Bachgen…’

Karen puts her jar back, stands alongside Ryan and picks up the chant.

Ryan holds up the card to the audience. The title on the card reads: ‘blue wall’.

Ryan opens the card and reads aloud the full text inside as Karen recites the chant.

Ryan puts the card back.

At some point, Ryan gives the instruction ‘read’.

Karen then picks a stack, holds it up and displays each of the cards one by one so that the titles can be seen by the audience.

At some point, Ryan again gives the instruction ‘read’.

Karen turns to Ryan, gives him the rest of the cards retaining the card he has selected.

Karen opens the card and reads the title. She then says the word ‘return’ every time there is a section break in the text, starting again with the title and continuing to repeat ‘return’.

At some point, Ryan either gives the instruction ‘read’ or ‘return’.

If ‘read’ Karen reads that section and then goes back to repeating ‘return’.

If ‘return’ Karen returns the card and the stack is returned to its position.

If Ryan gives the instruction ‘read’ while Karen is reading, Karen re-reads that section from the beginning.

When Ryan returns the stack to its position, he begins to recite the chant ‘the Boy, the Buachaill, the Bachgen…’

At some point, Karen gives the instruction ‘read’ and the whole interaction is reversed.

This continues until the alarm goes off. The cards are returned to where they were.

At Laban 29/10/14 we presented a new version of the presentation with more jars and less photographs. We set a task for students who presented excellent work at the end. Some of them had to write from a mundane activity and some of them had to write from a found place.

While they were busy doing that we found this place.

bath tub

Bath tub, Karen.