In my experience, fringe theatre can go two ways – quirky and interesting or really really bad. After the fiasco that was Spectacular last week, I was a bit scared about what the Arts House‘s second week of Green Saturday Matinees would bring me.
The stage for Shamelessly Glitzy Work was decked out in a curtain of glittery lurex with three microphones arranged like a Pointer Sisters set. As the lights went down, three girls dressed in primary-coloured suits approached the mikes, smiling and nodding in an unnerving and benevolent manner. They then started a humorous incantation of the kind of inanities you overhear in trams or in other people’s mobile phone conversations ‘yeah, I mean’ ‘seriously’.
Theatre trio post described the work was exploring the construction of experience and the power of manipulation, including the world of political imagery. As they said ‘it seems that sometimes the truth in a promise ceases to matter – as long as it makes you feel good at the time’. So at various times during the next hour the girls jumped in unison to a thumping dance track while slowly bleeding at the mouth and spraying their white shirts with water, discussed what was every day real vs really real vs kind of what its like to be real and conducted bizarre conversations about implanting microchips into people’s brains then going to www.chiphead.com to check out what people were thinking.
Even if some of the links between what was happening on stage and the deeper message were not always clear to me, it was an amusing and unexpected piece of theatre.