Performance Archive

2004 – Escape in Chic

2005 – Nought Point Nought Seven Nine per Hour

2008 – Losing

2009 – How I Lost the Pound Coin (And Why I Want It Back)

2010 - Human is Human

2012 – (and two)

2004 – Escape in Chic

Escape Theatre

Can we escape from life and death?  With the aid of chic dresses, responses to a questionnaire, stories, seven days, and a timer, Escape In Chic is the struggle to find out. 

In this evanescent performance, devised material is organised into a series of days, varying in style, content, and duration.  The audience is invited at the beginning of each performance to decide which of these days they wish to see and in which order.  Not knowing the order or content of the show is the ultimate challenge for the performers; the audience are in control and no two shows are ever the same.  Despite the risk, the performers are dressed to impress, with a beautiful set, and accompanied by elegant music and fine wine. They may not have control, but they will always remain chic!    

From waltzing to a tempest, extravagant heels to The Beatles on repeat, this presentational performance delivered Escape Theatre's findings in innovative and experimental ways.  

Reviews:

Three Weeks (Robert Stott): *****

‘A superb, original piece of devised theatre, which could have gone disastrously wrong but somehow did all things right […] Its genius lies in making exciting new repetitions every day. During the performance they wish for fantastic reviews and sell-out shows, and they unequivocally deserve both.’

Edinburgh Guide (Lorraine McCann): *****

‘An audacious debut […] the exact content of each show will differ, but what I saw was funny, baffling, mystical, absurd, mind-bending, and full of life. The contrasts between the pieces were beautiful, and the sheer commitment of the performers was an absolute joy to see […] Escape in Chic has got looks, brains, and shedloads of chutzpah. Devised theatre at its best.’

2005 – Nought Point Nought Seven Nine per Hour

Escape Theatre

Please note that rule breakers will not be tolerated. Running; smoking; laughing; standing on chairs; spitting; sleeping; whistling; diving; swearing; speeding; nose picking – are strictly prohibited.

Whilst building a paper cup city, Escape Theatre are learning and understanding about the deaths of over a hundred people. Searching through endless paper cuttings, reports and documents, they feel as though they are reading the same story over again - the story of death in the workplace. They want to find a way to tell this story. To remember those who are missing.

Nought Point Nought Seven Nine per Hour was a Method-Lab commissioned performance, supported by Hazard Awareness Magazine. It premiered at greenroom, Manchester, before touring as part of the Workers Memorial Day commemorations.

Reviews:

Student Direct (Peter Gothard): ****

‘Highlights included “Nought Point Nought Seven Nine Per Hour” by Escape Theatre – an exploration of the humdrum bureaucracy of the office world […] The experience as a whole was a surreal, confusing experiment, culminating in the company tidying up the mess they’d made of water, staples, and pieces of paper in embarrassed silence, while a bewildered audience looked on, none of us entirely sure if the performance was truly over.’

2008 – Losing

Solo Performance

There’s this man. If he met you he wouldn’t know you. He doesn’t know anyone. He sees things that other people would miss. He would use a typewriter to inform himself of where he was, of what he thought, of what he’d done, which pieced together fragments of forget. But he doesn’t know who has typed his words; they appear to him like portals into another world, where he can imagine being but cannot remember going. And still he types; hoping next time his words will let him in. Hoping next time his words won’t let him down. Hoping next time, there will not be a next time.

I am here to tell his story, lost amongst memories once forgotten, trying to make sense of what happens next. I will forget. And left there will only be fragments.

Losing premiered at Axis Theatre, Alsager, before being performed at greenroom, Manchester, as part of Live 2008.

2009 – How I Lost the Pound Coin (And Why I Want It Back)

Solo Performance

As a sole performer trawls through issues of memory and liveness and certainty, he tries his very best to keep everything from disappearing.

When I was young, really young, in my blue transformers pyjamas, in my mum and dad’s bedroom, with the cream walls and brown velvet curtains, with the duvet with pink flowers on it, and the light without a shade, on the really dark green carpet, on that Sunday morning, at around half past seven; I raised a pound coin to my mouth, and swallowed it.

And now, after searching across the country, the lost pound coin has been found. Somewhere. And it has a story to tell.

How I Lost the Pound Coin (And Why I Want It Back) was a three-year project that began by tracing the journey of a pound coin across England. With the help of the public, each stage of the journey was logged onto a website; the stories, the memories, and the dances it encountered became the content for the final performance. This piece was initially performed as part of Emergency and was commissioned through Method-Lab, before touring in the North West.

2010 – Human is Human

Kolectiv Theatre Company
Written and Directed by Mehrdad Rayani Makhsous

"I do not know who is controlling who anymore..."

Inspired by Brecht’s A Man’s a Man, the play was one of very few cultural exchanges to take place in Iran over recent years and was funded by the Iranian Dramatic Arts Centre, the country’s most important cultural institution. The narrative explored a caged animal, locked up in an institution by a doctor and a male and female guard. Eventually, as the animal transforms into a woman, the doctor is left questioning his very sense of reality.

Human is Human ran for three weeks at Tehran City Theatre, Iran.

2012 – (and two)

Solo Performance

After the opening credits fade you will see the man and the woman walk towards each other. They are strangers, oblivious to their imminent collision. And as they walk you will fall in love with these mediated, fictional characters behind the screen; will them to see each other, to have their happy ending. But this time will be different. This time you won’t play by the rules. And this time, this time this story will be about you.

The show begins with the performer seated in the auditorium, with his audience, eating popcorn and drinking from a large cup of Coca-Cola. It utilises a range of mediums, from live drawing and installation art to experimental performance and musical theatre, in order to tell the story of what never happened. There will be trailers, there will be advertisements, and there will be warnings about switching off mobile phones.

This is a non-love non-film live performance. By using filmic devices to put into slow motion the moment two strangers collide, (and two) explores the boundaries of fusing the mediated with the live and of telling a story that should have happened, but never did. This is not a film. This is not a love story. But perhaps it should have been both.