Blister is a verbatim play that tells the story of Rosie, an Australian woman, who is walking the Camino de Santiago. The Camino is an 800km pilgrimage across Northern Spain that begins in the French Pyrenees and traverses mountains, vineyard covered hills, mesetas (plateaus) and urban centres before concluding at Santiago de Compostela. 200,000 people from across the world walk the Camino every year, often carrying their minimal belongings in a backpack, staying in dormitory-style accommodation with fellow pilgrims in local albergues, and walking between 20-35kms most days. This short essay describes how walking methods merged with the situated, relational and material verbatim theatre practice of community immersion in order to experience and represent the public pedagogy of the Camino in performance. Informed by a feminist position and engaging with theatrical conventions inspired by queer theory, excerpts of Blister are incorporated across the essay to demonstrate how theatre as a live and embodied medium provides a multi-dimensional platform to depict the motion, emotion and learning experienced by pilgrims walking the Camino.
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- verbatim theatre