Ancient Shrines and Half Truths
This was the site specific audio show we created in Wellington to debut in Edinburgh, via google maps, streetview, and video footage. Twice a day, six times a week, we led people across the road from our venue at Summerhall and into The Meadows. Then we gave them smartphones and set them lose in search of 'authentic experiences'. Our favourite review quote described it as 'trip advisor meets pokemon go' which we wish we thought of.
We got four star reviews from The List and Broadway Baby, and other nice writeups including this one in Exeunt magazine, which describes it as 'a deliciously twisted vision'. Thanks to the smart folk at InGame for making our beautiful app.
6 performances, in the corner of George Square in the heart of the Fringe. This summary in the Guardian gives a good sense of how it went down:
“They’re beached. We have to help them.” On a windy corner outside Assembly George Square theatre, a pod of Whales (in fact a group of volunteers in wet suits) flaps its fins. More volunteers spray them with water. This is the Wellington-based BingeCulture collective, part of a season celebrating NZ artists: “Look them in the eyes,” the speaker calls. “Sing. Make contact.” Voices join a haunting melody: “Ngā iwi e”. “It’s a Māori song,” someone tells me, “about people pulling together and standing strong.” The whales return to the ocean (or top of the steps). “That was strangely moving,” says a Scottish voice beside me.
The show was also nominated for a sustainable practice award. Big thank you to all our whales, local and international, and to Nisha Madhan who joined us as a response worker.
Break Up [We Need to Talk]
On our day off from the other shows (Mondays) we did this five hour show in the Basement of Summerhall. Edinburgh, it turns out, is teeming with people aching for 5 hours of schadenfreude. We got nominated for a Total Theatre award for innovation, experimentation, and playing with form. The Scotsman gave us 4 stars, The Guardian prescribed hard spirits. We're all still friends, too, even after everything we said.
It's exhausting even summarising all this! Thanks to everyone who helped us make this happen, including the powerhouse that is Zanetti productions, and to Mel Hamilton, who produced and co-created Ancient Shrines.
For more documentation of our Scottish sojourn, check out photos of our adventure on instagram, @bingeculture.
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