Kerith Manderson-Galvin


Video still. Shot by Anton Rivette.

A journal entry from A Normal Child:

After the last show, I was thinking about time. We were finished: it didn’t feel like we were finished. 

To reflect on the process, I have to step in and out of an inconsistent timeline: I land on one point and then I end up somewhere else. In Brunswick, what seems like – and very well might be – hours are spent checking in on ourselves, then lunch, then a different version of a long conversation. We make a schedule. Then we make another schedule. Upstairs in Northcote, Betty is late because the train driver doesn’t stop to let her off. Jess says, “Thirty seconds” in multiple locations all at once and we stop working, but we don’t really stop, we just get cups of teas and keep talking, and move in and out of different rooms. One-week Jon is there, and then he isn’t. Eva takes a photo, and then pauses luxuriously mid-line. We make another schedule. David and Anton talk about the different layers in the show, next to a diagram on a white board. “Which layer is this?” They flip the white board over, and on the other side of the white board is a faded version of the same diagram. We sit in a circle, often. 

The group talks about moments from past developments – it starts to feel like I was there too. I listen to the stories, and then they’re in the script, and re-enacted again and again, with changing details and performers. They talk about Trevor as Iggy Pop so often that by the time I watch Trevor perform as Iggy Pop it feels like it has already happened.  The development and rehearsal schedule stretch and meanders across the year. We work “full” time. Time is reshaped around the groups’ needs and filled with weeks on and off, days on and off, shorter hours, morning only, slow starts – it’s different all the time. When there is an audience, there are days off between shows – it’s indulgent – to restructure a season to suit the makers and performers and not the institution. It seems like such a wild and obvious thing to do. At one point in the season we almost add an interval, then we don’t.