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Bloody Mess.

Research output: Other contribution

Published

Publication date1/11/2003
Original languageEnglish

Bibliographic note

Special Individual Circumstances. Etchells directed the performance and wrote text for this work, developing it with members of the regular Forced Entertainment ensemble -- Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon (designer), Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O'Connor -- who were joined by additional performers Davis Freeman, Wendy Houstoun, Jerry Killick, Bruno Roubicek and John Rowley with lighting design for the project by Nigel Edwards. The piece explores the construction, live dynamics and cultural expectations of relationships with an audience. It brings together a series of established theatrical or performative modes through figures drawn from disconnected popular culture genres, each of which engenders a set of quite different performance rhetorics and possible relations with the public. Two aggressive and endlessly bickering clowns, a displaced rather negative cheerleader, two surly heavy metal roadies, a gorilla refugee from a pantomime, two male backing dancers, a tragic theatrical diva and a rock-chick dancer co-exist onstage in the performance, which becomes an absurd, comical and in the end brutal battle for the audience's attention. The performance begins with a section in which each of the ten performers outlines to the audience how they would like to be 'seen' through the piece and this motif -- of audience expectation and performer desire -- recurs often through the piece. The work also explores contemporary modes of story-telling -- particular through an exploration of the relationship between text and image, in the collision and joining of apparently disconnected fragments and in the alternation of diverse modes of address to the public -- from the spectacular and maximalist to a kind of intimate minimalism. Reviews from The Guardian, Total Theatre and The Financial Times are available from the Forced Entertainment website. ""A wonderfully playful theatrical game on the nature of illusion, narrative and laughter... Ridiculously good."" **** The Guardian, 2004 RAE_import_type : Performance RAE_uoa_type : LICA