adapting the rats…

From Andrew Gaboury’s blog a field of crowns:

How we came to be adapting H. P. Lovecraft’s The Rats in the Walls:

“Let’s devise a piece of theatre.”

When Peter came to Carla and I with the drive to devise something we immediately lit up. Devised theatre is what each of us have trained in; it is the style of theatre that excites us most often, but the style that we find the trickiest to apply to the world outside university… until a simple phrase woke us up.

Yeah, we can do this. 

Initially our ambitions were high instead of realistic. Good ideas, but outside our specialities. Thinking too much is a good way to create unnecessary roadblocks. So is patience.

Peter found a story and an idea to do a show for the Fall. Site-specific nonetheless.

Strange. I usually embrace patience. I still do, but sometimes you just have to pick your obstacles. The Rats in the Walls that we are performing on October 21st and 28th is just the first experiment in the never-ending pursuit of making a piece of theatre. It is a base coat. Peter and I have adapted the short story into a script and we are using this version to explore how best we can communicate the story to an audience. In the process we are delving into the possibilities of staging horror.

And then I inquired about a house at Black Creek Pioneer Village and was asked by the GM if this was something I could see being ready for Hallowe’en. I said yes. Two months. I’ve done more with shorter time, I told myself. 

The Rats in the Walls is one of H. P. Lovecraft’s earliest and lesser known works. Taking place in the region of Anchester, England, in the mid-1920s, it follows the jounral of a man known only by his surname, de la Poer, as he seeks to reclaim the seat of his ancestry. The War has left him alone, the last of his familial line and, dealing with the threat of having a once glorious ancestry fade into obscurity, de la Poer seeks to chronicle the more obscure portions of his ancestry.

The only thing is, no one knows the exact reason why his family left Anchester all those years ago although the  mysterious incident has immortalised their names in local legend and folklore.

As de la Poer reclaims his name and digs deep into the foundations of his past the local superstitions seem to grow and fester in his mind. Do they actually have grounding in reality? Is it better to just leave what’s forgotten remain forgotten? Are the sins of the father bound to surface again in the son? And what is that scurrying he keeps hearing at night?

Join me and my theatre group, The Four Winds Collective, as we uncover The Rats in the Walls.

— Andrew

For reservations email info[at]fourwindscollective[dot]com

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One thought on “adapting the rats…

  1. […] story “The Rats in the Walls” as a theater performance, on 21st and 28th of October 2011, at Black Creek Pioneer Village, Ontario, […]

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