Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lisa Buckby responding to Number 1, The Plaza by GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

Number 1, The Plaza marks five years of GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, a company who specialise in broken genre performance, hovering somewhere between live art and theatre. Performers Lucy McCormick and Jennifer Pick, along with director, Hester Chillingworth, have previously focused on looking out at the messed up world we live in, but have for this show decided to look in on their own lives, and especially Jen and Lucy’s dysfunctional relationship as performers, friends and housemates.

The show takes the form of “an evening with” the two of them, with songs, dancing and chatting. Clad in high heels and glitzy party dresses, Lucy and Jen welcome you in and show you around their London flat. Their hosting a party which you’re invited to, but soon enough you begin to feel like you don’t want to be there.
The third biggest presence on the stage after Jen & Lucy is their foul looking “chocolately mixture”, which used deliberately for its repulsive appearance, and at times as a representation of ‘what they produce’ as artists, as well as how they see the outside world. Over the course of the show, the virulent mixture is spread across the whole stage, and Jen and Lucy.

Most vivid though, is the real contrast between how Jen and Lucy treat each other, and we are exposed to the real vulnerability of Lucy, as Jen repeatedly puts her down. How many times can Lucy stand to be told to shut up and go away?

By choosing to use their own flat as the basis for their show, and with five years of work behind them, GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN are clearly at home in the theatre, and fear absolutely nothing.  Not necessarily the easiest piece to see if you are new to this company, but a perfect demonstration of what THE VAN is all about.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for this. You've draw out a couple of really interesting elements in the production, but I think the next challenge is to try and decipher what the company are trying to do with the piece.

    You start with a really great, canny description of ‘broken genre performance,’ but when you say 'a perfect demonstration of what THE VAN is all about,’ I don’t feel I really know what you think they’re all about from what’s come before. It’s a really slippery piece of theatre, with a lot of layers in there, so what do you think the important elements are and how do they add up to say something. You’ve got a really good knack for simple, legible description - and that’s vital for criticism - but the next step is interpretation. Tell me what you thought through the show.