Geoff Norris directed ‘A Clamour of Voices’, an artistically presented collage of newly written poetry and playlet’s, monologues, & songs, sonnets, soliloquies and speeches from Shakespeare at the Under Ground Theatre, Eastbourne on the 17th of September 2016. I found him to be a very reliable, and a very enthusiastic Director. His love of Shakespeare, the profession of acting and of the theatre shines through when working with actors in rehearsals, bringing out the best in the actor, in an empathetic but firm, non-patronising manner. The actors worked hard for Geoff and they respected their director. His vision of the setting and atmosphere of each situation, their interlinking, and how through minimal yet effective use of props these could be embodied, complimented the various scenarios, and greatly enhanced the acting, bringing to light the characters inner and outer narratives, which Geoff finely tuned in rehearsal. Geoff seems to see behind the text, making transparent the subtext, the undercurrent of emotional meaning and narrative, and the character’s ever-changing context from moment to moment, allowing each actor from deep within to understand, and he has a way of bringing it out so it shines from the actor’s face and body. Geoff also sat with the lighting and sound engineers for several hours lighting the set with dark and shade like a master painter bringing each scene to life, with appropriate lighting, as well as linking the scenes together through having previously suggested music that was a perfect fit. This added the final touches to this highly successful staging of ‘A Clamour of Voices’.
Geoff Norris is both a great actor and director. His talent was evident from the first moment I saw him at work directing soliloquies. In addition to skilfully delivering Shakespeare’s melodic iambic pentameters himself, his insight into how they should be portrayed, the stresses, tone, timing, actions, positions of both people and props, etc., was impressive. His attention to the smallest detail was relentless and always perfectly in tune with what the scene demanded and he was quite simply a delight to watch in action.
‘By bringing a spiritual core element to the work Geoff Norris has pioneered an efficient and very effective system of training and exploration for actors; regardless of their background or acting experience. He embodies and ably demonstrates the principles of energy and how to bring this into the voice and the body. Fusing his origins in Eurythmy and operating from a spiritual foundation Geoff has created a truly unique and dynamic form of training for the modern actor. I always come away enriched and enlightened from Geoff”s classes and have found it works across the board in many forms of acting from TV to Film, and also theatre.’ Oliver Gatz, Actor London .
Working one to one with Geoff even over a short period has given me a connection to and interest in language and sounds which has totally changed the way I perceive my voice and its potential in performance. With a background primarily in physical theatre, I had no foundation in voice work, and was reluctant to engage with it as the few formal exercises I tried had felt very stiff and false. I am grateful for the new power and clarity in my voice but mostly for having acquired a connection to sound in space which I am excited to build on myself in future work.
As a performer he delivers a unique and powerful experience to his audience. From a deep understanding of what lies behind and between words arises a force that brings new shape and meaning. As a director he enables a caste to work together and to bring their optimum to a production, and is particularly skilled in working with groups of mixed ability and experience. As a lecturer he presents difficult concepts with clarity, engaging with the audience every step of the way.
Art is born of the union of the physical world and the spiritual world and their mutual fructification, for in art the external form is imbued with spirit and the spiritual content is clothed in external form.
The mystery of the Creative Word, of artistic speech, is only able to be understood and become deed in the light of this insightSpeech reveals to humans their divine nature; the sounds of speech are creative forces which unite them with their spiritual origin and enable them, once again, to find the path leading to the spirit. Speech raises the human being above the level of the animal; it leads back to the Divine within his ‘I’ the part of himself that calls itself ‘I.’
It is what you do before utterance that is of importance… moving from imaginations(apprentice stage) to inspirations (journeyman) to intuitions( master) where the audience and the performer are no longer in dualistic space but are actually within each other where the illusion of space is totally overcome.