FLARE17: Blindfolded

FLARE’s lunchtime offering centres around the Hub (70 Oxford Street) with two shows that blindfold the audience in very different ways.

PARTY: Beaches (Spain)

How to explain this extraordinary piece of immersive theatre?  In a group of ten you are led, blindfolded and wearing headphones, into a room.  Each person has a cast member to guide them.  At some point you are invited to dance, but it’s not the dancing that’s important, it’s the personal journey you undertake that matters most.  And from that point of view this will be an experience as unique to the individual as their own lives.  But then it’s not just about you, the individual.  As you move, you brush against other people and you realise that it’s the personal contact that matters more than anything else in life.

I feel I only just scratched the surface in PARTY.  I’d happily go back into this again and again to see where it took me.  It’s a brilliant experience and the perfect opportunity to start to explore what matters to you in life, to consider where your boundaries are and why they are there, and to feel completely free.

FLARE Hub 5 – 8 July.

Blind Cinema: Britt Hatzius (Belgium)

A film plays on the screen of the old Cornerhouse cinema space but the audience are blindfolded.  There is no dialogue but effects are audible.  In the row behind, local school pupils (10 or 11 years of age) whisper through a hearing tube to explain exactly what is happening in the film.  The children are highly articulate and it is fascinating to see how they view the film.  One (for they change twice during the performance) is precise in detailing colours, dimensions (the window ledge is 5cm deep), the ages of the characters; I get a great feel for how the projected room looks.  A second focuses more on motion, where people are travelling to and from; the sense of movement is strong.  The third taps into the emotion of the film, identifying the key dramatic action.  The effect is to separate the film into discrete components.

Blind Cinema is a fascinating exercise in how we communicate.  How do we interpret what we see, and how do we interpret what others say?  Certainly we rarely get the chance to question whether we are seeing the same thing on a screen as everyone else.  Yet to hear three different approaches to explain the same story is to understand that everyone has a very unique way of seeing the world in which we live.

Flare Hub 5 – 6 July.

For more details, the link to FLARE (4 – 8 July 17) is here.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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