‘I’ve always suspected I was watching TV instead of living life. Right after I was shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television’. Andy Warhol
Re-Enactments is an interactive audio performance that casts its audience, a small group of eight participants, as the ‘re-enactors’ of the narrator’s story. Via headphones, the re-enactors receive instructions for action, speech and navigation through the cavernous basement space beneath the imposing Shoreditch Town Hall building.
The voice inside the headphones belongs to a patient who has recently recovered from a serious brain trauma. They have undergone extensive physiotherapy since the accident in order to be able to move again. But their movements now feels over-rehearsed and second-hand; ever since the accident the narrator has felt like an ‘actor’ rehearsing to be themselves again in a world that now feels like a television show. The images on the television seem more real than the world that the narrator’s body belongs to. To feel real again, the narrator must stage a re-enactment. To live inside the images onscreen. Your reality and that of the narrator’s are about to meet.
Inspired by Charlie Kauffman’s Synecdoche, New York and Tom McCarthy’s novel Remainder and emerging from research into the condition of depersonalisation and derealisation undertaken at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study, Germany.
Cast & creative team
Commissioned by Shoreditch Town Hall.
Originally commissioned by The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award
Developed on an Artist's Fellowship at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Germany.
Devised by Analogue
Written by Liam Jarvis (with contributions from Hannah Barker)
Sound Design by Tom Wilson
Voiceovers by Morag Cross, Dan Ford & Brian Martin
Produced by Ric Watts
Reviews"Re-Enactments is brilliantly conceived, particularly as an examination into the mechanics of immersive theatre. There’s something unnerving and exhilarating about being half-in, half-out; when you notice yourself starting to act, for instance, or as a real feeling begins bubbling out of pretence." The Telegraph
27 January-6 February 2014 - Shoreditch Town Hall, various times.
4-week writing and development process in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall, culminating in a 1 week run of the finished work in October.
8-week research process undertaken by Liam Jarvis as Artist in Residence at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst, Germany into dissociative conditions. This culminated in a short work-in-progress performance at the Upstairs Gallery in Oldenburg on 23rd September.
2-weeks of research and development leading to a work-in-progress showing as part of The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Awards on 13th October.