After our actual performance and our final tech rehearsal, we had the opportunity to see the problems that we anticipated we would face. As we predicted the main problem we faced was that of the audience and the overwhelming amount of people that came to see and show their support.
In the early stages of the performance we made the initial decision to cap the audience numbers to 24 so that there would be around 6 people to a booth within the VIP (Check-in lounge) for comfort and ease – with regard to seeing the projection. But as interest for the piece gained and word of mouth boosted we decided to increase the numbers and to give more people a chance to see it, cap at 40. This proved to be a hindrance not only for the cast but for the audience themselves. With regard to the cast, with the increased amount of people, the directions that we had practised and routed were made slightly more difficult as we had to navigate around them (Emma’s character was challenged most with this, when trying to collect the ‘Spam’). I, personally, found it challenging with the increased amount of people when it came to ‘shepherding’ the audience from room to room. I think with a lesser amount of people it would be easier to guide the audience and would have made transitions of the action from room to room a lot quicker. But the increased amount people made the rooms fuller and made them more ambient.
Interpretation was also a problem highlighted post performance. Whereas the general meanings and interpretations, where similar and as hoped. It was that of sexism and more importantly male hierarchy that received a lot of attention; especially from our markers. We made the conscious decision to have myself as the administrator to mirror that of the fictional personality ‘Tom’ (your first and only friend when subscribing to ‘MySpace’) but the Dumis role of ‘the system’ and my subordinate was only to represent the influence males have over the internet, i.e. Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook founder) and Bill Gates (Windows Founder) to name but two, and was not meant to have a connotation of superiority.
I do, however, think that the audience enjoyed the performance overall as there was nothing from the norm; from location to action, various aspects of the performance would have been captivating and kept the audiences interest. The quick pace of the room and space changes would help to make sure that the audience didn’t get bored; and as each room were not in the slightest way similar (except that of narrative) it was an advantageous way of keeping the captivation. The audience may have been disgruntled at the end when they are, quite literally, thrown onto the street. But I think on reflection, as we intended, I think (and was confirmed via feedback) that the audience realised that this is representative of the internet itself with regard to when you have finished specific procedures and are told to close window or return to ‘home’. If given the opportunity to do this module again, I would have the performance performed on different days. The reason for this would be so we could lower the amount of audience members permitted into the performances and really give them the best experience we possibly could.
By Jamie Downes.