An ancient oak beam, hand hewn four centuries ago during a famine, rests in the middle of the room. Its history is known and supposed. But what is its future? It will be decided in these performances. The audience will witness the conception and birth of A Beautiful Thing out of this wooden relic, and see it physically changed.
From Barnaby Stone's website:
The story is about the conception and birth of an object. It involves the lives of the people who make it, somehow connected to the form and meaning of the one Beautiful Thing. It will be born of skill, danger and risk, under the looming storm of failure. Once finished, you will be left with not just a memory of a story, but the product of the characters in it. The Beautiful Thing will be crafted using a fascinating mix of age-old skills and the very latest production technology. Raw materials will be transformed into a something with its own logic and beauty - much more than the sum of its parts. The show will leave something behind - a physically changed space and an object so fine the audience covet it. One member of the audience will leave with it under their arm.
After 25 years working as a theatre artist and cabinet maker, Barnaby Stone brings these two strands together in his ongoing work, Stuff. Co-produced with the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), it is a TippingPoint Commission supported by the National Trust.
All my art has focused on the structures, music and form of society with conflict and cataclysm as the clouds hanging over our fragile normality. The Beautiful Thing continues to mine this rich vein of investigation, as a way to consider the complexity of beauty, skill and precariousness in our daily lives.
A Beautiful Thing was performed at BAC from 8 - 10 September 2011.