The Cloak

As mortals, according to the Angel, we can’t see this cloak that we’ve woven about us – as a protection and disguise. When I directed the play over three decades ago at Central School, we opted to use sheets of polythene for the cloak. As I watched each layer being added to the last one, I saw the actress (my fellow trainee, Aileen Stott) disappear from view. The significance of the Angel’s lines could not be ignored:

That hides their true selves as a flame in smoke

In this new production Potential Space have chosen to create the cloak using thousands of scraps and threads as it is written in the text.

It’s coming along nicely, but of course, you can’t see it, being mortal! If you want to see the cloak, you’ll have to see the performance.

We have all added bits and many others have kindly made donations.

It’s taken on a personality of its own and each rehearsal has grown more potent as a result.

During this time, a very dear and special friend Anna Trevone slipped her body after many months of terminal illness. Anna (this is a name she created) was, is, also a shaman and so her passing, although deeply sad, has another dimension to it. She knew the play and understood its message implicitly.

Before she moved on, Anna gave me her own precious shamanic cloak. I didn’t know what to do with it. It felt too huge for me to hold and yet I respected her judgment. I took it to my writing room at Dartington Space which seemed a very fitting space seeing as though she had been instrumental in my getting the room (that’s for another time). I have her cloak laid out over my flipchart board so it greets me every time I enter and its presence is profound.

Before the first rehearsal after Anna’s passing, I went to my writing room to pick up the play’s cloak and realised I needed to bring Anna’s cloak as well. The two ‘sat’ side by side in the studio and when we came to rehearse, well, the energy in the room was electric. We were all quite taken aback by this new force. Something had shifted. It was breath-taking.

Anna’s poem opens the book and I’m delighted that she had opportunity to read much of it in progress.

During an incredible six months of prolific creativity she had whilst living by the Cornish coast, Anna wrote a new play entitled Seven Gates. It’s a retelling of the ancient Sumerian myth of the goddess Inanna and her descent into the underworld. She gave Potential Space her blessing to stage Seven Gates, which will be our next venture…watch this Space!

Thank you, Anna.