One of the more stimulating artists to bring work to Chapter in recent years is that of Texan born performer Greg Wohead. Whether its shows inspired by Come Dine with Me, Elvis or even Ted Bundy, few can escape his meta grasp, awash in post modern theatrical tendencies. His work is usually baffling, yet brilliant.
Call It A Day returns in a condensed version, after last year’s durational stint at Experimentica. This was no mean feat, with the performers starting the piece even before the opening hours for the public, then wrapping things up just after 8pm. Put simply it’s about an encounter Greg had (with his then girlfriend) with an Amish couple. Memory plays a huge role in his practice and the relieving of this meeting is the ground work here. Greg even has a bash at Pennsylvanian Dutch (a remaining Amish language even to this day), an impressive feat proving his talents have no limits.
Pig slaughter, apple butter and the Peter Weir film Witness all play a part in the dialogue and themes of the show. Though the name Call It A Day no longer feels as relevant with this version of the show condensed into an hour and half. The name had real meaning in the larger than life piece we all popped into see last year. Past this, it does make the show much more accessible and narrows the scope down to see the best bits.
Amelia Stubberfield and Tim Bromage return with the added support of Catriona James (last seen with a fantastic show on mental health: Worse Things Happen). They each add to the wry demands of the show, coming from Greg’s own persona. The four them make a super little ensemble, just the right amount of energy and skill in storytelling. Prompt cards appear to trigger each section of the show which tease moments of chance, though I assume we hear most if not all of the main components of the show.
Few works of theatre have me thinking about them after they are over. Greg’s work is always food for thought, made special by his inventiveness and sense of wonder in the everyday.
This mini Experimentica ended in the cafe space of Chapter, with Good News From The Future with What Leg Are We On. This group of mature artists appear to have a real good time with these two dance numbers they created in the moment, with minimalistic layerings by Samuel Barnes (who’s synths really took of in the second part). Some proved to have great comic timing and there was much strain, fluttering and pulling in some of the improv choreography. Though the real feel of these piece was connection as most of the artists choose to relate and react to those around them, with little demand for solo parts, but as a unit of moving magic. I would love to see what they think of next.