Well … we’ve been here a few days. Starting to get a handle on how to shop, cook, sleep, wash etc.

Highlight so far has been the vending machines which serve HOT cans. On literally every street, there’s a choice of ‘smoked coffee for real men’, ‘premium coffee with a radiant-like beauty’ for the ladies and ‘a health fizzy drink, increasing the vitality of men going all-out every day’, presumably for those who’ve run out of Viagra.

Work-wise, been spending the first few days exchanging written ideas via a ‘collaborative notebook’, adding to each other’s starting points. Quite fruitful.

Visited the space for the first time today. It’s a proper theatre space with raked seating! Rather intimidating. http://www.kaat.jp/en/about/

Tomorrow we’ll start trying things out, physically, in the studio.

Rebecca French


Notes before reading The Rules
Sunday 13 January, 11.46am
I hope they will make me laugh – both with recognition and with horror!

Notes after reading The Rules
Sunday 13 January 11.53am
Ha ha. Well the first one made me laugh out loud. Perhaps I’ll attack Andrew with a knife.
And then the remaining three seem quite appropriate to our intentions for the residency. One question for us is how we make work that doesn’t require both of us to be present for all of the process and all of the presentation. So those questions of balance, and also being there while perhaps not actually being there are apposite.
And then as we’ve previously always made site-based work, ‘being here, in this place’ has been very important.
And then, what might ‘a stage’ mean for us and how might we find that in Japan … oooh, very very exciting. Must go off now and start to pack.
Thanks Seth. See you at Heathrow.

Rebecca French


Before I see the rules I hope they will:

• Contradict some habits in our practice

• Tie the R&R artists into a collaborative experience

• Encourage me to explore a little bit of the other side of the world as well as our practices

• I’m also looking forward to testing the rules and breaking them. What is the point of a rule if you do nothing but stick to it, what do you learn about that rule about how far you can go til it snaps.

First impressions of the Rules:

• Ok, so there are the Rules but where are the Regulations!

• I can work with those.

Andrew Mottershead


Yesterday I spent the first hours in the studio here in Yokohama. It was both good and hard. The experience of being here in Japan and understanding how everything works is so powerful, it is hard to think about making a piece of work just yet. There is a lot of finding my feet, finding the supermarket, trying to get myself fed, making myself comfortable to live here, to be done. Having said that, entering a studio space is a bit of a leveler. It is (to some extent) like any other studio in any other city, and while I am not always at my most productive in a studio space, in this context it feels like a useful disconnection from the distraction and stimulation and challenge of being somewhere so new. Or rather, not a disconnection but a means of focusing.

We talked as a group about the rule ‘Attack!’ (and its exclamation mark) and that it is in some ways an instruction to just go, make, work, hit the ground running. To not over-think, which is hard for me as a chronic over-thinker. I tried quite hard yesterday to not think. I even tried meditating, which came up in our discussion because my initial response to the rule ‘Find the stage’ had been about finding your ‘right’ to the stage, and presence, and different states of being as a performer. So I sat in the studio with my eyes closed for twenty minutes and tried not to think about anything and thought about everything. It is so fast, my mind, that often I don’t even notice it has gone elsewhere. This was an interesting exercise, one I think I will repeat just to see if I can get better if nothing else.

I wrote a text then, about all the things I had thought about while trying not to. And then I set myself a task to write a text that is so honest I would feel uncomfortable performing it in front of an audience. I spent some time trying to beat myself up, physically (‘the body attacks itself’). I bit my own lip doing so and tasted blood in my mouth. I have cut and injured myself accidentally so much in the last few weeks, I think I am getting more and more accident prone. I thought about blood then, and about a moment where an audience experiences the taste of blood, and now I wonder how I might re-create that taste.

– Ira Brand


We have arrived in Japan and the Rules have been announced!

The Rules:
– Attack!
– Find the stage.
– Balance
– You also are here.

The artists have started exploring Yokohama and working in the studio. They will be posting their thoughts on this blog throughout this process… and I might chime in from time to time as well.
– Seth Kriebel, R&R Director