Playground Politics, a performance produced by level 2 students on the Writing after Beckett module was a feature of the Drama Showcase at York St John University 2017.
A delightfully refreshing performance consisting of 32 scripted vignettes; fleeting moments, comedy shorts, tiny sketches, dramaticules. Written by the group as a scripted piece, all the little plays established a world of their own, varying in lengths and driven by different content as tiny little episodes.
The general theme across all vignettes commented upon the ridiculousness and the failures encountered in current politics, in love, in competition and to some degree, it played upon and stretched, with absurdity, the mundane aspects of our lives. Played through the performativity of the absurd, not too far away from Samuel Beckett’s Dramaticule Come and Go and close enough to Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information, the performers applied a touch of wit created through a series of visual interruptions – custard pie goofs, Kaylee dance routines and farcical noises. Whilst the writing and the concepts were drawn from the work of Samuel Beckett and Caryl Churchill, the material in some vignettes was highly influenced by the conceptual dramaturgy of the TV series Inside Number 9, a dark comedy with each episode featuring an entirely new story in a conceptual space – behind a number ‘9’.
BARE by Cutting Clouds Company (James Harris, Alex Kaniewski, Imogen Sutherland). Cutting Clouds investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and its limits as well as its impact on our experience.
BARE sweeps through nature, and aims to cut up the landscape by layering the life, death and work of the writer Virginia Woolf. On 28th March 1941 Virginia Woolf filled her overcoat with stones and entered the River Ouse, Sussex. She bared all to nature and it took her life. As part of our process for BARE we travelled to Horton-in-Ribblesdale in order to respond to its surrounding landscape– a landscape that is dominated by steep fells, and bubbling streams that feed the river Ribble.
For our performance we took our audience on a journey through Fulford Ings, a small patch of wild on the edge of York. BARE explored this environment in relation to walking, waiting and wading. Our endeavour was to better understand what it is to bare all to the environment we are in. BARE invites the audience to reconsider their relationship with the outside world, the public and the non-privately owned space. Throughout the day our environment changed affecting us personally as performers and the atmosphere of the experience. The performance aimed to connect to the environment on a very human level, giving the audience time to reflect and on their individual lives as they shared nature with a group.