Art tackles science

Animal Hour.
Can we prove we’re more than animals? Science has been attempting to answer this for years, but w

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Can we prove we’re more than animals? Science has been attempting to answer this for years, but we’re still confused. And if Darwin can’t solve it, you better believe Binge Culture can, because the makers of Drowning Bird, Plummeting Fish are back with a live experiment that will prove humanity once and for all:  it’s their new and brazenly anarchic devised work, ANIMAL HOUR.

The subjects here aren’t DNA strands, they’re contestants plucked from the likes of you and me. They’ve made it through the audition, suffered weeks of humiliation and tonight is the final round as the select few race to outdo their animal nature. But how can you just act natural when the judging panel are demanding the impossible, the live band is hurling fruit and poo, and the crowd just want to see blood? 

“We feel science has failed to give satisfactory answers to the questions that plague humanity’s fragile opinion of itself” says director Joel Baxendale, “but luckily, we’re not scientists, we’re performers, so we can ignore their rules.” And this show does just that, deliberately exacerbating the variables by having human actors play the animals they are trying to transcend, until the line between human nature and animal instinct is dangerously blurred. 

This is literally experimental work, only it’s not happening behind laboratory doors, the experiment is taking place, live, right here in Wellington. Binge Culture are experimenting in the most entertaining way possible: it’s reality theatre.

So the lights are on, the stage is set: tonight, in front of a live studio audience, seven performers will seek transcendence.  The games will be savage, the judges merciless, and the audience vote rigged. Can the contestants prove that their more than just animals? And if they can’t win the night, can they at least survive it?

“This is unmissable theatre…an exploration of contemporary themes and the limitations of performability that is genuinely aiming to extend and challenge the audience in new ways.” (Sharon Matthews, Theatreview on Drowning Bird Plummeting Fish.)

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When science fails, art takes over…

Written by

Binge Culture Collective

22 Jun 2009

Photo by Tabitha Arthur — with Rachel K Baker and Isobel MacKinnon at Q.
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