Guests R&D at HfC

October 7, 2010

Thinking objectively, as much as is perhaps possible having been one of the performers in the event on Sept 25th, it would seem that what the audience experienced was an eclectic and expressive mix of elements that came together as a piece of affecting mixed-media, character-led theatre.

Theatricality and live art were combined.  The space itself  was largely devoid of seating and was lit with pools of light as if an impressive  gallery. The sound-scape ranged from a cacophony of crashing sounds through poignant and gentle tones. The set – a narrow passage way in shadow led to a graffitti-strewn anti-chamber that, in turn, opened up, as the iron was lifted, to the cavern of the auditorium itself. There the audience encountered all six performers – individuals they’d already seen during strange dislocated sightings on their approach to the main space.

Meeting the audience as I sat polishing my shoes as the character Kevin was both charged and quite normal. Charged in the sense that interactions were heightened by a sense of shared expectation and matter of fact in that it was possible to engage as if chatting to people passing in the street – people curious about their whereabouts and what I/we – the performers were doing there and why we were as we were: strange, dislocated, dysfunctional yet vivid – ready to flip into action at any time.

The themes that stay with me have to do with a composite of ideas such as…belonging, the sharing of each other’s spheres of experience – for example audience and performer, interdisciplinarity – the mixing of art forms and performance skills, the resonating themes of protest (around consumerism, territorial oppression, freedom of transit, isolation, rebellion, conformity) and an  invitation to be as guests in each other’s worlds.

The work, a piece of process and practice as research was an extremely engaging project to have been part of and it will be fascinating to see what emerges from the experience.

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