I was fascinated by the idea that a company could expect an audience in a small city to attend five consecutive nights and then offer a 12 hour omnibus as well. I had to give it a go and I am really glad that I did. What an experience! It wasn't faultless but there was a campaign spirit in the building which put us in collaboration with the company - we were all in it together. I didn't know much about what I was going to see and I expected it to be a bit more weird and inaccessible than it was. I didn't realise that parts one and two were in musical form for a start but they were sung, choreographed and funny. Very tightly executed too, admirably as so often synchronised stuff is, well not synchronised. This was.
But what am I talking about? The premise of the show and the storyline is based on an almost verbatim account of series of phone conversations between the artists and one of their company Kristin, who describes as much as she can remember of her life going back to babyhood. The transcript is sung and also projected onto two plasma screens grouch out parts one and two.
Part one starts at babyhood with three girls - oh this is going to be hard to describe - dressed identically in grey dresses, bare legs, red scarves and fawn sneakers. Eventually they are joined by three men in grey shirts and trousers and matching sneakers. They all sing the transcript complete with ums and ers, pauses, repeats and mistakes, describing early memories. Part one is three and half hours long, very physical, exhausting for the cast, very graphic and simple from a theatre design perspective. Strong shapes and colours, lighting and music provided by more members of the cast, piano, flute guitar, tambourine, violin. It was spell binding and captivating.
After part one we were fed BBQ hamburgers cooked by the cast - they prepared the food by hand the day before - for 200 people. Part two started after that. I'll tell you about it tomorrow....