Friday 30 January 2009

Stuff seen and played

Not so much. I'm mostly lost in 24 DVD seasons when I am not working. My last DVD compulsion, The West Wing, felt like eating dark chocolates, I'll just have one more... Whereas 24 is like an MSG-packed Chinese buffet, guzzling adrenalin-drenched narrative set-pieces, but I don't feel full yet...


Last week I went to Scratch Interact, a night of treats curated very properly by the lovely Glue Theatre in the in-between spaces of Southwark Playhouse.

Glue's opener delivered a box that wriggled out a man who then - having failed beautifully to gather attention from the pre-show crowd - managed to get presents and sweets from many.

Deborah Pearson's Break Up With Me invited you into a toilet cubicle with her to do just that, however you chose, delicately responsive to its own conceptual knots, beautifully poised.

'The Minuting Hill Carnival', a minute version of Notting Hill's, refereed by a representative of the Honourable Society of Faster Craftswomen, who before she sold me a nugget of jerk chicken on a cocktail stick, made a joyful band of us playing tiny instruments. Gorgeous how just as much glee came from playing it tiny, it was the play that counted. Lovely and messy.

Emer O'Connor
then delivered a piece of storytelling, at first staged and delivered to the back walls. Perfectly good performance but not at all responsive to us or the space, and her volume inevitably causing alarm to the theatre staff worried about the 'main show'. As soon as we moved in closer so she was actually performing to us in the space with her, it suddenly came alive. Which raises very interesting points for me about liveness and scalability.

Emily Smallwood
took a pair of us into the disabled toilet. One was sat down on a white towel and asked to listen through headphones to a recording of a story. The lights were then turned off. The other then shared an embrace with her in the corner. Then the lights back on, one was asked to record a story while the other listened, very close. This piece worried me and it's still with me. I loved her assurance in the disjuncture of these elements, the light and darkness, the very living intimacy of the exchanges and near brutality in heightened awareness of the other people in the room. Fantastic sensibility.

Sam and Chris from Glue then led a lively round-table discussion for the good number of us present. But there should be more of us. This night is quarterly and make sure you make (something for) the next one.


I found and played Gravitation by Jason Rohrer. Both he and his work are fascinating. There's a granularity and bumpiness I really like together with a breathtaking fluidity of concept and mechanic.

I really want to play Between. I need a live partner. If anyone wants to play it with me, drop me a line at theconeydoctor splat gmail and let's sort out a session.

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