The Clod Ensemble: Under Glass

13 May 2009, Village Underground, London

13389w_untitledMy colleague and I have this running joke.. the shows we pick to see (or as we joke, make each other see) end up as ones that just can’t get more tiring.

I came out of this show utterly drained.

But what an experience! It featured 9 people of all backgrounds enclosed in various containers placed throughout the warehouse. The spotlight/attention would change between them, where the audience is herded around the space to watch the action going on from different locations and angles.

What was interesting weren’t just the movements and emotions of the performers, but the reactions and facial expressions of everyone else watching the show.

There was a girl in a glass box, lying on top of a green turf. For me, it very uncomfortably alluded to being in a coffin. She was trapped, struggling, reaching, stretching… the look on everybody’s faces was that of disgust and horror. Then there was this beautiful duet between an older couple. They started off entangled, then went on to trying to separate from each other… moving apart, moving together… finally accepting that they couldn’t be apart. Looking at people’s reactions during this particular section, it was that of pity and sympathy. Guess it strikes close to the heart and is almost what we fear of long term relationships and of growing old. underglassThe thought of growing apart and going down this path seems scarily inevitable. And yet (I’m sure I speak for alot of people) somehow believing and determined that it won’t happen to yourself (which may be naive, but could only be a good thing?) Interestingly, they were credited as ‘twins’ in the programme which we were handed as we walked out of the show.

An older woman with the most incredible voice performed spoken word during various points in the piece. She was in a phone booth peering out.. as if she were a spy, not wanting to do what she does but trapped in this power of position and hunger for exclusivity. At times her words reflected what you translate as thoughts going through the other characters’ minds. There was a guy trapped in his office cube (the most literal one), a posh lonely lady trapped in a posh setting…

The most tiring (but amazing) piece was the central piece – the girl pictured up top. She was in such a tight space, it became painful watching her, because I started to get really claustrophobic. The interesting thing here though was that she was the only person that wasn’t truly encased – her container didn’t have a lid! This meant that she could have stood up anytime and broken out of the container. But it was almost as if she enjoyed being trapped in this space… with it forming her comfort zone. Suppose that alludes to our lives and how we trap ourselves within zones of comfort.

Really great show. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, as there is still a lot of potential for development.

Anyway, bring it on SB! I’m ready for the next utterly tiring and exhausting show ๐Ÿ™‚

One thought on “The Clod Ensemble: Under Glass

  1. Wow, you’re really doing a good job with this blog! Very impressive ๐Ÿ™‚ And re: Under Glass, not sure if I would’ve like it … although it would’ve been most interesting to see … actually, I guess what I meant was … it would’ve been amusing to see YOUR reaction to those pieces! Keep it up!

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