Question: What do blood, vegan jokes, and musical interludes have in common?

Answer: 30 Days of Blood!

“The whole thing started with the image in my head of a girl covered in blood. I didn’t know how it got there – it just was. As I started exploring this girl further, I was fascinated by the vulnerability and brutal honesty that she brings with her. It wasn’t long until the second image appeared, and the third. The show is based around those three images and connected by a story about love, lust, anger, aggression, and women”, says writer Eva Ditzelmuller.

When rehearsals started for the play, there were six pages of script. From there director Roze Elisa began using improvisation to fill in the blanks, as it were. “We work a lot with improvisation, we do a lot of exercises that are based on Complicite’s devising work, so we ask the actors very much to work without a script, and to find the characters and the stories before we go to the text”, says Eva. Through improvisations of actual scenes and past events, and further exercises exploring the status and relationship of the characters, the play is beginning to take shape.

Originally the show was meant to work more as a cabaret show – sketches linked together with fun transitions. But Roze has shifted its focus so it is more story based now. “It’s still going to be very visual based and image based, and…it is going to look amazing cause [Eva] is in charge of set and she’s amazing visually… she knows how to make you gasp when you look at something. But that’s what we’re doing when devising, creating the plot and the characters so there’s also a message that you walk away with.”

Having the actors be up on their feet has also changed the show. Everyone has brought with them their own ideas and offers. Eva says, “The actor will give something to it that I could never have written in. This is also why I suggested that we are quite loose with the script and use it as a working script in order to have the actor really connect with it themselves, so that they are not portraying something that I imagined, but that they are portraying something that they imagined as well.”

30 Days of Blood will be a funny, musical, absurd, and of course, bloody play. Roze says “If you’ve ever been in an awkward situation while being on a date…and if you’ve ever been on your period while being on a date…I think this is the play for you.”

30 Days of Blood, written by Eva Ditzelmuller, directed by Roze Elisa. At the International Festival of New Work, Corbett theatre, East 15 Acting School, November 13-18, 2017.

by Liesl Jensen

Update: Since the publication of this article Eva Ditzelmüller has replaced Roze Elisa as Director of the play to take it to a different direction. Elisa’s input has been tremendous and Ditzelmüller will now work closely with Jesse Briton to develop the play moving forward.

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