Immersive Theatre at its most terrifying! Brilliant though, and really thought-provoking. I had to make a decision about an issue during the event, and now find that in fact I feel I made the wrong decision - I was SO sure at the time though. Interesting. And the thoughts linger, and the rights and wrongs of decisions which affect other people have been going through my mind all day.
This show started when I first booked the ticket, in January, as the mystery and the excitement start; I have no way of knowing what will happen, although the fact that the ticket office was at The Southbank Centre gives it some validity I suppose. Then, the emails and texts came checking that I had provided the correct phone number, and telling me to make sure my phone is fully-charged on the day. The night before the show another message arrived, and my butterflies starting flapping around, big time.
What happened? Not telling. What was the acting like? Amazing. Was I safe? I think so. Would I recommend it? YES, YES, YES.
Smack That at The New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth 9th April 19
I did not read up about this in advance, having had it recommended by their publisher, Oberon. No payment was made up front so when I arrived I was given an envelope to put in an amount of my choice at the end of the show. Rhiannon Faith, the director and writer of this show skilfully introduced the theme of domestic violence in a friendly and safe-feeling environment. Everything kicked off before I'd even sat down as cider and popcorn and sweets were handed over by the actors, and badges allocated to all of us, in various forms of 'Bev's - I was "Fabulous Bev", and my friend was "Sensible Bev; the bloke next to him was "Folk Bev"! We were at a party, then we were playing pass the parcel, then we heard domestic violence statistics, then back to party games. The actors were also excellent dancers, and much of the movement was gut wrenching as well as shocking at times. All of the actors themselves had experienced domestic violence so knowing this at the beginning of the show did seem to make the over all feeling of the evening more poignant and immediate. The evening ended with us all joining in their disco, chatting and laughing with them - a great scene of survival and positive futures, at least for these women I hope.
30th March 19 RA Lates: Bill Viola and Michelangelo
A treat for the senses! After dark, Burlington House lit up, caravans and huts selling food and cocktails and dirty chips and pizzas, flames flaring out of the oven, gorgeous people floating around in fancy dress, based on the elements. Quote of the evening: "Yes there's a variety of students here tonight, and some random old people..." I started my feast by listening to the RA madrigal singers (the whole building was opened up to us revellers so I saw parts I'd never reached before, including this massive lecture theatre). Were they students/artists? Couldn't work this one out.
[caption id="attachment_534" align="alignleft" width="180"] people-watching![/caption]
Next, I visited the sound sculpture - a young woman la lee la-ing (Cocteau Twin fan maybe?) in front of a large animation on three tall thin screens, then on to the existential disco, etc etc as you do. At last, Bill Viola: overwhelmingly thrilled to see this exhibition. Having viewed many of his videos on TV, it was wonderful to see them at their full height. In the first room, "Birth, Life, Death", glued to the enormous screens; noticed how much longer people linger over moving images compared with static art. Michelangelo's sculpture linked well with the film and was for me the best Michelangelo in the exhibition.