Long Cloud Youth Theatre Summer School have worked with A Slightly Isolated Dog to investigate then recreate a night out. The show is frenetic with lots of short scenes from a typical night out. There’s a lot of drinking, some dancing. There are some ongoing stories but most of the action and interest is in recognising the scenarios being played. Almost everything that I’ve seen happen during a night out (or a night in at someone else’s place) is shown. The actors get to show off their musical skills as well with some singing and others playing instruments.
It has one of the most magical sets I’ve seen. Designed by Oliver Morse, it features beer boxes, beer bottles, crates, old couches, and old TVs. Lighting for the action is sometimes provided only by the desk lamps that are scattered around the stage (lighting design by Jason Longstaff.) The TVs are used to show some of the interview questions the actors used in their research. (Sound and AV by Matt Eller.) Microphones amplify conversations and direct attention to where the action is. The performance area is all over the place. On the stage, up on the steps where the seats are, in the bar, outside the theatre. The audience is seated around the edges of the space. (I think the best place to sit would be up on stage. Wherever you sit you’ll probably miss seeing some of the action.)
I liked it. It felt like a night out should – every screaming, singing, dancing, swearing, shouting, melancholic second of it. It’s loud and a bit incoherent. (What was particularly interesting for me was what the work did not do and that was judge the actions of the characters. Instead it was a reflection of what happens. It made me consider my own response to things that happen and the actions of other people. Walking down the street after the show had never felt so performative before.) Nice work.
- Perfectly Wasted by Long Cloud Youth Theatre Summer School, on at Downstage to 16 February 2013.