Windmills 21 (Don Quixote: Cervantes and Shakespeare)


The Don Project
the story so far...

Walking down the streets of Wroc?aw where most of us lived and worked at the time, among the 19th century buildings still showing the scars of the 2nd World War, one character came to mind, Don Quixote de la Mancha. I had read the book a few years back and was struck by the vivid imagery, both the comic and tragic elements of the lead character, the richness of the language, and the countless theatrical situations the story offered.
What began like a joke between us (how can you possibly translate the 900 page epic into theatre?!) grew in our imagination as the next step forward in our work. The scale of the project however did not immediately appear to us, but as we started our research and reading of what is arguably the first European novel, the enormity of the task began to dawn on us.

It is clear for us that we have to invent or adapt a specific training as the meeting point between us and the text: both the way in and the result of our encounter with the novel. We have to find the theatre that lies within this particular book.

In doing so the underlying themes of the book become clearer, we see a parallel between what the characters are going through, specifically Don Quixote, but also Sancho and the rest of the characters and ourselves. Their need to believe in fantasy, the affirmation of the modern ego as a construction of the mind, the revelation of the soul not essentially through a vertical relation with God but from the horizontal dialogue between each other, all of which relates to our own journey into our training research on the ensemble.

To the 900 pages that is Cervantès’ novel we have now added the corpus of Shakespeare’s plays in order to find the best possible match with the scenes that we are developing.

In the summer of 2010 we spent six weeks at the Grotowski Institute developing ideas and playing games based around Don Quxote, below are some images of that experience

21 WINDMILLS ‘he was my friend, faithful and just to me’
At The Quadrangle, Shoreham, Kent, 26th, 27th at 5pm & 28th September 2013 at 7pm
A story of windmills, madness, laughter and hanging clothes, as the spirits of two great European writers - Shakespeare and Cervantes - unite in the dramatic telling of a single inspired story. A performance with live music combining the best of the European physical ensemble and UK text traditions, from award-winning company Bred in the Bone realized in the stunning location of a converted barn in Kent.
21 WINDMILLS is the story of Don Quixote set in the present day somewhere in Europe. Our Shakespeare-obsessed hero dreams of a world of poetry and imagination and yearns for a reality far, far away from the screens of our modern life. The dream takes over, and through the language of Shakespeare Don Quixote learns the meaning of friendship and that the real adventures lie within and between us.
Bred In The Bone is a permanent performance and training ensemble based in the UK and drawing together theatre makers from 10 different countries in Europe and beyond, each dedicated to sharing their individual theatre traditions to make innovative new work. Productions are developed through the company’s own unique training method that has also been training actors with great success internationally since 2009. Based in Brighton, the company has toured its award-winning 11-production repertoire to Poland, France, Spain, Iceland and Greece, giving workshops and master-classes along the way, and was invited to perform Unreal City, based on T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, at the prestigious European Theatre Prize and Grotowski Year festivals in Wroclaw Poland in 2009.
21 WINDMILLS is the result of three years of research and development looking to adapt this European masterwork into theatre form using the specific musicality of Shakespeare’s text and the company’s own unique development and performance methodology.

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