I had one very clear understanding about That Night-time Phenomenon, performed in December 2017 at Seven Arts, Leeds (I love that place). This very clear understanding was instant and realised during the performance – that (sometimes) reflection that occurs while performing can be distracting but useful for modifying action appropriately. This understanding became a certainty. This certainty is that it is not the best method for me to repeat a performance, unless it has significant changes that reignite my purpose. That Night-time Phenomenon had been very successful the first time it was performed, on repeating it I think had used up, dried up, all my incentives and purpose for the text and actions.
It was a very unsatisfying feeling to not have had the time to rework this piece with a new ‘fire’ (so to speak), and would I have been able to do that anyway? I was simply walking through the actions – how awful – the audience know this and its lack of authenticity is clear and not as engaging (though some friends disagree with me on this point). For me this lack of authenticity, it wrecks everything, and some people do this night after night? Perhaps its just me, but I am decided that I will not do this again. It was not as successful as the first showing but I have learned a valuable lesson. Was it Antonin Artaud who argued that performances should not be repeated – Artaud, I agree.