Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 24 May 2018

Brighton Performers Join Gob Squad For Unique Intergenerational Show

British/German arts collective Gob Squad have performed all over the world for a quarter of a century. Now, they are are at Brighton Festival with a brand-new show, Creation (Pictures for Dorian) where they will be joined onstage by six local Brighton-based performers.
Pic by Jade Mainade

Gob Squad is a British-German collective based in Nottingham and Berlin. Having worked collaboratively since 1994 in the fields of performance, video installation and theatre, they create mid-scale work that combines audience interaction with real-time video editing. 

The company often use popular culture to explore the complexities of everyday life and have a history of involving members of the audience in its performances. Yet, for the first time ever, Gob Squad have recruited local Brighton performers to take part in Creation (Pictures for Dorian).
 
Long-standing Gob Squad core member Sean Patten says: 

"We want to really lift the lid and explore beauty, aging, morality, mortality from different perspectives. 

"[We've found] people older than us, and people younger than us, and people who – like us – spend a life on stage, or who want to spend a life on stage so that we can connect to them and find out what it"s like, and what it means to be visible in visible, looked at and regarded as an object of beauty."


The chosen participants - three under the age of 22, three over 60 – all have some experience of performing, or in the case of the younger bracket, aspire to be on stage, with two of the young performers in their last year of studying drama at The University of Sussex.
 
One of the participants, Dorothy Max Prior, explains that:

"I first read A Picture of Dorian Gray 50 years ago. Then, a budding teenage dancer; now, well into my sixties and still dancing, just a little more creakily… Gob Squad's Creation isn't a version of Oscar Wilde's iconic book, it's a kind of homage to it; an exploration of its themes, especially the central fantastical idea of keeping a portrait of yourself in the attic that ages whilst you remain eternally young-looking.

"Gob Squad are in the middle phase of their lives, as performers and as human beings, and they decided that they wanted to investigate both the idea of framing, of portraiture; and the obsession with looks, image, and ageing, using a cast of older performers (60+) and younger (aged around 20) student performers, who appear alongside the core cast as the models and muses. 

"The show has a tight structure, but with room for improvisation within that structure. The guest performers are led by the hand throughout, often literally – moulded, guided, instructed. 

"We are invited to respond not as lifeless mannequins but as ourselves… It's great to be involved, and an interesting learning process. You can teach an old dog new tricks!"

Gob Squad member Sharon Smith explains that Creation is partly inspired by the members of Gob Squad hitting middle age and contemplating youthful vitality and good looks slowly ebbing away. 

"We wondered what it would be like if we were presented with people that reminded us of ourselves in the past, or who we would like to be in the future," says Sharon, referring to their volunteers.
 
"We're all about 50, not really looking forward or back. It's a kind of waiting place – neither here nor there. That's why we were interested in this multi-generational meeting."

The project is inspired by Oscar Wilde's character, Dorian Gray, who meddles in the domain of the gods with the aid of a magical painting. He suspends the process of ageing and remains young and beautiful forever, at a terrible cost to his soul.

Creation (Pictures for Dorian) at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts until Sunday 27th May 2018. CLICK HERE for more details.

by: Mike Cobley




Share    

Whats on in Brighton today


While touring the UK in November 2016, American songwriter Amelia White viewed the bitterly divisive election season back home via the BBC, and from a promoter's attic began to complete the songs on her album, Rhythm Of The Rain. 

Stone Foundation's new album, Everybody, Anyone, was recorded at Paul Weller's Black Barn Studios in Surrey and features a sprinkling of guest musicians.

For too long festivals have been too male and now Byline Festival is doing something beyond the usual rhetoric….

The flamboyant world of Brighton in the 1880s and back-street life of the 1930s and 50s are the focus of two new books from community publisher QueenSpark Books.

Reading the wonderful new Ronnie Lane oral biography, Can You Show Me A Dream?, it would be easy for the reader to be left with the impression that Ronnie's life cycle had been a wild journey with a sad ending. But for Ronnie the journey hadn't ended. The letter had left the envelope, that's all.

Black Deer Festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Eridge Park, Britain's oldest deer park, located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells, and you can expect an array of authentic americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases, storytellings from cultural pioneers, not to mention a line-up of artists across the Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres.  

The RPMs new single Let Things Happen raises the bar significantly for this young Brighton band. 
(c) Tom Sheehan 2018

Del Amitri return this summer for a UK tour, the celebrated Glaswegian band's first run of dates since 2014.

Albert Hammond Jr's latest album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Sea Life Brighton has issued an urgent appeal for the public to become more responsible with their waste after collecting a record amount of rubbish on Brighton beach. 

One-hundred years on from the first women in the country being granted the right to vote, Brighton Dome has been officially recognised as one of forty-one buildings across England that were at the centre of suffragette action.

Joan Armatrading is a woman of candour – not to mention can do. She gets straight to the heart of the matter, and she delivers.

The drama and magic of Glyndebourne Festival provide the inspiration for a new children’s book, The Mulberry Bees.

Fusing powerful song writing with musical flare, Brighton-based Hatful of Rain combine their English, Celtic and American inspirations to great effect on their new album. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Whats on in Brighton today


Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd