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The shape of a life… Richard Gregory reflects on Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring.

Quarantine was established in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham. We make original theatre, performance and public events with and about the people who are in it. Whatever form it takes, our work begins and ends with the people in the room. Over the last 20 years, we've collaborated with a shifting constellation of artists, performers and people who've never done anything like this before. Our work seeks to create the circumstances for a conversation between strangers...

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The shape of a life… Richard Gregory reflects on Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring.

Posted: 4 May 2016

Last week I spent a day in my flat with all of the windows open for the first time this year, making a through draught. Spring has sprung.

And I’ve been reflecting on being part of making Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. The norm for me after making the first version of a new piece is to harbour some kind of dissatisfaction.  This isn’t a negative reaction.  Maybe it’s the wrong word. Yet over the years I’ve learned that I need to give shelter to feelings of incompleteness, to think about the unexpected things that present themselves when the work meets a public, to mull over what to do with it next…

 Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. was long in the coming.  It started on a run by the sea in West Cork and ended up on a massive sound stage at the old Granada television studios.  I wonder why I remember where this idea began?  Usually I don’t.  And yet, over Easter just gone, there it was: 3 performances and a film, played out over a 7 hour period, with hundreds of people in a room spending a day together, thinking about the shape of a life.  We spent about 3 years working on the quartet and now it exists.  The work is ripe for its next iterations.

And alongside that maybe-mislabeled dissatisfaction, there’s another strong feeling – a sense of great pride in what our brilliant, committed-beyond-the-call-of-duty, small-but-perfectly-formed team managed to achieve. We made a bar.  We made a theatre. We fed 60 people a day (sometimes twice). We made three performances and a film.  We made a massive event.  We made something that all sorts of people came along to and responded to in all sorts of ways. We made something that all sorts of people came along to and responded to in all sorts of ways.  We like doing these things together.  I’m proud to be part of that.

– Richard Gregory, co-aritistic director, Quarantine

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