We wanted to create this special experience at Mystetskyi, which would be like a journey for the audience though the sunset into night. We didn't have the script, we just had several ideas and a team of fantastic artists who I trusted completely. I also invited a brilliant composer from the UK, Jessica Maryon-Davies to come and join us for five days, teaching techniques for choral singing, and helping to score the piece with live-singing of Soviet era and contemporary pop songs. So, I was trying to maximise this Culture Bridges support of my mobility in Kyiv to build to a much broader, ambitious project. Sound designer Olesia Onykiienko, lighting designer Natalka Perchishena and costume designer Paul Kuraskin also joined the project. A lot of people really believed in this project quite quickly - something about the theme - or perhaps our working process, which aims for a more horizontal structure across the company, in which we can be together and exchange, honestly, as artists.
We worked in collective authorship. We spent three days just singing pop songs, thinking how those could become frames for certain moments in the show. And we made dramaturgy just with the architecture, we were following the natural light. I thought we would create a show lasting one hour, but it expanded with the music and became a 90-minute spectacle. 'Hooligan' has very different music styles and polyphonic effect because of the acoustic of the location. The performance is in Ukrainian, Russian and English. The actors developed a lot of the texts themselves.
On the 16th July we hosted a run-through with invited guests for the first time, performed at sunset, which helped us test the movement of the audience thought the space. Over a hundred people came, which was a challenge! We performed the first sharing of the show on 17th July at sunset and last sharing the next day after sundown. I like that the conditions of the show can change, and so the whole atmosphere becomes entirely new every time you play. The Open Theatre team came to the first performance and they live-streamed the show with three cameras.