Over the last 21 years good cop bad cop have made over fifty pieces of work, mainly live performances, some film works, curatorial projects and a radio programme…which still continues in a modified form after six years of broadcasting. Whatever the form of the work the process has followed a similar pattern, improvisation, be that loosely or more tightly structured. Both John Rowley and Richard Huw Morgan have also participated in three National Theatre Wales productions, John acting in all three, Richard occupying a more nebulous role.
What good cop bad cop have never done is tackled a play. So why now? Why this play?
One of the attractive features about “The Nether” is that it deals with notions of freedom of action, the possibility of improvising based on imagination. Yet this freedom is illusory. There are always rules, both internal and external. When everything is possible why is it that the imagination should recourse to its bassist forms? No matter how many forms of technology we may invent it is still based on human imagination, and the need to fulfil human desires...or at least for now...who knows what robots might dream up for us.
At its heart “The Nether” is about relationships, human relationships, and the longing to connect. And to connect we must share some sort of common ideas, some common language, be that verbal or physical. Technology is increasingly allowing us to select, even dictate, these connections, to screen out ambiguity and dissonance...to have it “your way”. But at what cost? What gives us the arrogance to think that this is as good as it gets? It is only by opening up to the unknown, the unpredictable, the unprogrammed, that we will learn to select and reject, to learn what might be.
What we, grew up with as experimental performance in Wales has all but disappeared, assimilated into mainstream theatre as a set of techniques, as spectacle...as product...trading on past glory without investment in possibilities, without risk, without embracing possible 'failure'...whatever that might mean. We do not believe this is as good as it can get.
It seems right to us that we should perform a play that raises questions about control and human agency, about freedom and human imagination, about the promises and failures of technology...and about getting so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget about the realities of existence and the importance of human relationships.
For us this is some kind of strange durational performance, one where we attempt to perform some kind of loop, pretty much the same each night (and matinee!), its the least we can do for our fellow performers. But rest assured, nothing is fixed or certain.
Chapter 15 - 18 and 22 - 25 March
| Company of Sirens
web site: http://companyofsirens.com
|Tuesday, March 07, 2017|