It was Shakespeare that once wrote that:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players
For the most part, I am inclined to agree with him barring the ‘merely’.
In this current age of modern technology and innovation, it can be easy to feel like your life is ‘merely’ one of billions in the world. But it is so much more than that.
At Be Happy we believe that in every waking moment of our day, whether we are working, cooking a meal or simply talking to our friends – we are improvising. This doesn’t mean that we are lying or acting in some way.
Human beings are incredibly complex beings, all acting and reacting to each other in a matter of microseconds. The responses we make to conversations, the gait of our walk and the flavour of the food we prepare are all wonderfully unique and are made up of billions of microscopic movements and thought processes. In essence, although your life might dull or repetitive at times, we are constantly improvising in every aspect of our existence.
Although our shows tend to stray from formal realism, there is an inherent level of it when it comes to using so much improvisation in the formula of our work. By juxtaposing our vibrant dance sections with minimalistic conversations based on improv, we aim to bridge the gap between performance and reality – showing our audience that there’s no reason why life cannot be filled with the joy of performance as well as unadulterated joy.
Of course, there is a risk-reward nature to improvising that reflects the risks that we take in our everyday lives. Even though we may stick to the same use of words in our day to day lives, outside forces are constantly influencing our style of dialogue and introducing new phrases can sometimes cause confusion. New languages can prove even more difficult to handle. Our performers come from a whole range of countries and so our performances reflect their unique cultures. Bringing together a group of people from different backgrounds can often leave to conflict, this is a key part of human life and one that we do not ignore.
It would be too easy to create work that celebrates the good parts of humanity. A 2-hour show of happiness and joy would be a beautiful thing, but it wouldn’t be a fair representation of our world as it is now. That’s why we try to balance the mood of our shows to take our audience through a range of emotions. Performance theatre is a wide-reaching platform and one that can be used to express a whole plethora of emotions. Conflict, anger and violence are things that exist in our world today. Even though it may be preferable to ignore the ugly side of humanity, we believe it is best to accept their existence so that we are best prepared to combat them.
We improvise every moment of our lives – so when it comes to meeting new people, or encountering a new problem have confidence in yourself and remember that: