Spill \ˈspil\ intransitive verb: To pour out or spread beyond limits
Robert Pacitti is an amazing man. He’s the force behind SPILL, London’s festival of experimental theatre and live arts performance. I always find it really intriguing speaking to him. He’s so genuine and brimming with ideas…so incredibly packed with them that he’s going to explode soon. Actually he has.. which is why SPILL exists.
I know pretty much nothing about this field and actually find it quite a difficult one to appreciate. But that’s why it is interesting speaking to him. It really touches my heart how incredibly passionate he is about his work. You could see him trembling with excitement and gratitude when he gave his speech at the launch party tonight.
The theme of this year’s SPILL festival is human agency. The capacity for us to make choices and to impose those choices on the world. Hmm..
A great article in the Guardian today about SPILL festival… with an interesting end bit about shows that have transformed theatre. I’ve only seen one out of all these… the elephant, which was amazing! Perhaps I should go see one of the Castelluci pieces at Barbican next week, as it’s hailed as one of THE events this year. But really… blood, a pack of dogs, a crucifix, hell, fire.. yup, not my cup of tea. hm. Well in a few weeks time, I’ll be back with streams of thoughts of 3 other SPILL performances, hopefully! (Of which one I already know will make me feel quite uncomfortable, but hey, it’s time to try something new!)
GIANTS, GHOSTS AND MASKS:
PRODUCTIONS THAT TRANSFORMED THEATRE
The Guardian, 1 April 09
The Raising of the Titanic
Limehouse Basin, London, 1983
A skeletal boat structure was raised from the watery depths, as the crew of the Titanic created fairground-style side shows, in this extravaganza by Welfare State International.
King’s Cross Coach Station, London, 1997
Entering through a wardrobe, you found yourself on a solo journey through a labyrinth. There, you played with nymphs and then had to lie in a coffin. Created by Enrique Vargas, this scary, sensual show had you as its star.
Riverside Studios, London, 1999
Blast Theory responded to the Gulf War with an installation-cum-performance-cum-video-game that made the audience combatants on a virtual mission.
Who Can Sing a Song to Unfrighten Me?
Southbank Centre, London, 1999
Forced Entertainment’s 24-hour performance turned day into night and back again through the telling of bedtime stories. The audience slept, chatted, watched, left and came back again.
Dining With Alice
Larmer Gardens, Dorset, 1999
A sumptuous Victorian meal was served to the audience while characters from Alice in Wonderland ran amok, subverting the niceties of the dinner party.
London, 2003 onwards
Free, three-mile installation still in operation by Graeme Miller, charting the lost voices of the East End community removed for the building of the M11 link. Ghostly messages are transmitted via headphones.
The Sultan’s Elephant
A million Londoners came out to play, dance and watch puppets stop the traffic, as Royal de Luxe’s giant elephant disrupted everyday life.
Masque of the Red Death
Punchdrunk’s unique take on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories put the audience in masks and plunged them into a parallel universe.
The Smile Off Your Face
A comment on the artificiality of performance by Belgian company Ontroerend Goed, in which you were put in a wheelchair and subjected to smells, tastes, sounds and intimate encounters.