A few people have asked me why our company is breaking up. I thought I'd try and explain it here as best I can, though words can be so difficult.
Just to be clear, this is a make-believe break-up, as part of Fringe. It's not real. It's the game of breaking up, improvised over an evening. It's between five performers, but it's one conversation.
It lasts six hours. You don't have to stay that long. In fact, you don't even have to come- you can watch it for free live on our website, www.bingeculture.co.nz, assuming the technology works out. We also would like you to bring your phones and tweet your commentary to the #bingebreakup hashtag if that's your thing.
The idea came out of an hour-long show we made a while ago, called Animal Hour. About two thirds of the way through, (after the tiger mauling and the dance of evolution, but before Simon was force fed the cold saveloys off the floor), the show ground to a halt because it 'wasn't working'. The other performers formed a semi-circle around the 'host' character and we broke up for about ten minutes. During the break up, the others looked at the host, and the host looked at the audience. The rule was that the conversation had to zig-zag around. The presence of the audience made it into a competition as well as a game.
The fun was trying to drag the tone back to earth- to something that felt real- whenever it got silly. There's an excerpt at the one minute mark of this video.
It lasts for six hours because, pretty much, we want to see what happens. We're inspired by some of the long-form Forced Entertainments shows, especially Quizoola. Tim Etchells explains why duration is intriguing this way: "Your expectations are very different. I mean, you don't walk into a twenty-four-hour-long performance going, "entertain me!" It's seven o'clock in the morning, or four o'clock in the morning, the performers there have been going for four hours already doing something that's reasonably taxing: you know that the rules are different, and your way of engaging with the work is different."
So Break Up [We Need to Talk] is about honesty, but it's also about lying and bullshitting. It's about seeing if we can do it, which is why it's Fringe. I hope you can make it this Saturday, but if you can't, I think I understand- I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
Break Up [We Need to Talk}
Matchbox Studios, 166 Cuba Street
7pm- 1am, Saturday Feb 8th.
$5 in person, free online.
If you'd like to vote for us for the Fringe Fav award, its easy: just add #FringeFav and well as #bingebreakup.
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