Creating Home: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Development

May 11th, 2022
Image: Home Maker/Performer Zoë and Director Daisy at creative development. Photo: Mat Byrne

The concept for Home was created almost four years ago – a bold collaboration between Restless Dance Theatre and Patch exploring what home is – but the show itself is still in creation. In April, the Home creative team spent twelve days at Hopgood Theatre in Noarlunga trialling ideas, characters, scenes, set, music and more.

The creative team is made up of sixteen talented individuals and includes an animator, prop maker, composer, performer, just to name a few. Cobham reveals that each creative plays an important role the development of the show.

“I am extremely grateful for the support of our large team who generously bring their creativity and patience to the room each day. Working with this exceptional group of creatives on the development of Home has been a vital and rewarding experience.”

Image: Performers Bhodi and Zoë with the biggest prop in Patch’s history – a giant inflatable snail. Photo: Matt Byrne

Image: Maker/Performer Zoë drawing at creative development. Photo: Matt Byrne

Photo: Mat Byrne

Despite the wealth of talent and knowledge involved, the creative development proved challenging, Director Daisy Brown shares:

Our April creative development wasn’t easy. We explored and wrestled to find the right path and direction for Home. It sounds simple. Home. A place you live in, a place you make memories in, where you share your daily routines. It wasn’t simple at all. Our challenge with Home was – how can we capture the Patch excitement of installation performance when Home is set in a theatre with it audience sitting snug in their seats. How do you make magic from such a rigid viewpoint?

Daisy described a day in creative development as “delicious chaos”, and Geoff and Daisy both spoke of creating lots of ideas and elements and trying to fit them into show, like playing Tetris or making a puzzle. Artistic Director Geoff Cobham shares, “We have a room full of incredible ideas that we are auditioning for a place in the show – it’s a crazy jigsaw puzzle that has many solutions.”

Daisy said the team started by trying to create a conventional story which didn’t feel like a Patch show at all, “We were searching for a story to tell our audience instead of simply asking them a question. It's a scary part of your process when you realise things aren’t coming together and you need to make big changes. And we did.”

Image: Performers Bhodi and Zoë. | Photo: Matt Byrne

he show started to come together when the team stepped back to create a new perspective,

“All our Tetris pieces fell into place within a new structure that has given us one simple question to ask the audience: ‘What’s behind the door?’. Now anything is possible.”

The characters in Home bring the audience on an adventure behind the door as they explore wild and wacky imaginary worlds. The young audience are at the centre of this immersive performance, building and creating with the performers throughout the show.  

The final hurdle for the work will come as test audiences experience the show in July, “Children’s reactions can change everything,” says Geoff “they are often drawn to different elements than we are and having them in the room shapes the final work.”

“Making a new show without a script or story is the most exciting and terrifying experience, but there is nothing else I would rather do.” – Geoff Cobham.