Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You Never Had It So Good)
Gob Squad looks like they will be an important influence on our performance. They are a collaborative company who devise and ‘make performances and videos which search for beauty in the everyday, and look for words of wisdom from a passing stranger’ (Online:www.gobsquad.com/aboutus.) As a group, we like thier use of film and cinema to present an idea in a live, theatrical setting, and aim to try and get this in our performance in one aspect or another.
Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You Never Had It So Good) would be a good reference point, specifically for our performance, if we wanted to look at breaking the celluar divide and exploring how far you can go with audeince participation.
They strive to show the ‘everyday life and magic, banality and utopia, reality and entertainment are all set on a collision course and the audience are often asked to step beyond their traditional role as passive spectators and bear witness to the results’ (online:www.gobsquad.com/aboutus.) Breaking the celluar divide would really push the notion that we live in a heavily mediatized world and leaving the comfort of our screens and our virtual life could be terrifying and make you become non-exsistent. This can be seen with Gob Squad’s Kitchen, when they call Simon back over, to get him away from the dangers of ‘real’ life to come back to thier virtual one as ‘Its not safe out there.’
When we look at the idea of audeince particpation, Gob Squad innovatively uses them in Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You Never Had It So Good) When four audeince members actually become the performers in the show, being told what to do by the original performers through some headphones. They really challenge and question what the role of the spectator actually is, which is something we are looking to encorporate and expand on in our performance. Starting ideas to gain this is of the performance being a site specific and in a promenade style is, with other ideas of having laptops in each room, where audeinces can change and control the music of the performance, or update thier facebook/twitter/tumblr etc. This would keep us on our toes as the performers and constantly keeps the performance fresh.
This would be drawing on what Andrew Haydon believes to be the new particpatory theatre :
” In recent years there has been a real growth in interactive and participatory theatre, to the extent that there is now a considerable corpus of work within this sub-genre. On one hand, there are immersive experiences like Masque of the Red Death in which audience members – or “participants” – can interact with performers and each other, possibly even influencing the action. At the same time, there is also work created for an audience of one, in which it is the interaction between the participant and the performer that constitutes the whole of the piece – Adrian Howells’s 14 Stations in the Life and History of Adrian Howells or Ontroerend Goed’s Smile Off Your Face. Both strands significantly re-draw theatre’s traditional contract with the audience”
This would be a good starting point for us in the rehearsal process, to start exploring the differences between the two, and what would integrate better in our performance.
By Rebecca Britten.
- Gob Squad : www.gobsquad.com/aboutus – (Accessed 12/3/10)
- Haydon, Andrew (2008) Gob Squad’s audeince take to the stage – http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2008/jul/25/gobsquadsaudiencetakestothestage – (Accessed 12/3/12)