The Shrine of Everyday Things

Take four properties in a Brunswick estate facing imminent demolition.  Seek out the stories and memories of the area.  Add the talents of the Contact Young Company and an amazing Creative Team to bring the whole thing alive; I was fortunate to interview the Brazil/Manchester team behind The Shrine of Everyday Things as it was being devised.  What do we preserve? What do we throw away? What do we really need to live?

A dining room of ghosts and sugar, a neighbour that keeps coming round, a bedroom of dreams, a living room of broken memories inhabiting the ornaments and walls, a kitchen full of discarded plastic bottles.  Each room evoked a different emotional response, and asked different questions.  I recorded my dream on the hallway wall.  This was a clever mix of performance and installation, with more detail than was possible to absorb in the short time we had in each house.  The transitions between sets were cleverly done and maintained the intimate and communal feel of the world that was created; at times local children joined in.  This production very much inhabited the estate where it was set.

The acting from the Contact Young Company was impressive throughout.  The convincing characters drew you into their spaces, and the stories were well told. What an opportunity for this company to work with such a talented creative team.  I am fascinated by the technical side of theatre and can only wonder at the scheduling within this production; the audience were split into groups of five, visiting each house in turn, requiring actors to rotate in and out of their locations.

This production evoked a strong emotional response about how and where we all live.  The overall feel was intimate and voyeuristic, as if I had entered into someone else’s life and shared their hopes, disappointments, memories and routines. Intelligent, beautifully designed theatre that encourages us to answer today’s important questions.  A truly memorable site specific experience.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

2 Responses to “The Shrine of Everyday Things”

  1. nikky says:

    I wanted to go see this so thanks for the detailed clear overview great site : )

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