The Croydon Avengers – Behind The Mask 4

With every new production, I get excited about the world I will inhabit with the cast. As a movement director I constantly shift between physical languages in different eras and locations.  Recently I have created football matches, the work of hard labour in a prison camp and the physicality of a character based on the 1920’s Charleston dance, all for stage productions.  With The Croydon Avengers I was tasked with helping to find the main characters special physical personas and powers.

A play with superheroes could not have been more timely and let’s face it, we all dream of having some type of extraordinary capability!  Oladipo Agboluje’s wonderful script marked out our superheroes with fighting skills and elemental qualities.  I reflected on how we would use these and remembered that above all, superheroes are cool.

So in rehearsals I worked with the cast to explore different types of elements, like soil, stone, breeze, tornado, spark or a flame, with their bodies and how each would manifest in their character’s personalities and special powers.  From there we started to shape the physical life of all the characters – superheroes and of course their nemesis.  That work was woven into expertise shared with the cast by Alton Brown our martial arts specialist and champion sportsman!

All this work did make me think about what superpower I would want.  It’s stayed the same since I was little – to fly (because teleporting would be too fast) to whip people up out of harm’s way and to soar up to the stars and look down onto our planet.

Diane Alison-Mitchell
Movement Director and Choreographer