Performances for the Curious is a new season of work for the Weston Studio and curated by Sarah Leigh, Senior Producer and Jenny Sturt, Assistant Producer. The body of work is exciting, thought-provoking and featuring many female writers, directors and actors. Each season curated by The Weston Studio for the foreseeable is taking on a theme and I believe a season focused on diversity and mental health will take place later on in the year and early next year.
We kicked off proceedings with the exceptionally talented and intelligent spoken word performance by Sarah McCreadie who is part of Radio Platform; a youth led station offering training in radio broadcasting at the centre. Her female inspired poetry resonated throughout the room touching on female struggles and responding to the phenomena of #metoo; she really is one to watch.
The second half of the evening was the performance of Split Britches’ Unexploded Ordnances and their dark and humorous exploration of the current climate, our fears exposed and making the older audience visible and in the hot seats of participation in the show. The visual displays of a ‘doomsday’ approaching created an intense and serious vibe to think on the ‘The Situation’ of the world in which we find ourselves.
On entering the studio, the stage is set with an imposing round table; a parody of Strangelove’s iconic War Room. A Council of Elders are selected from the audience and invited to the table where they asked questions to really get us revealing our deepest thoughts: personal, political, global to be expressed and listened to. This allowed for rather frank, honest and hilarious thoughts to be revealed and mused on.
I loved the humorous relationship between the General and Madame President played by founders of Split Britches; Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver respectively. The show closed with a post-show discussion which naturally carried on from the discussion in the show but it was the moving and emotional visual of Vera Lynn singing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ through the years which certainly made me shed a tear.
I was really inspired to see a show with an intelligent and witty way of encouraging it’s audiences to talk, express their feelings in a relaxed and freeing way without fear of being judged. I believe this show really did set the tone to kick of the new season of work to come, showing that our curious natures can lead to extraordinary things.