Sunday, 13 April 2014

Molly Flynn responding to Number 1, The Plaza by GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

In 'Number 1, the Plaza', performance art collective Get in the Back of the Van invite their audiences in, 'right in' as they say, to enjoy an evening of songs, stories and scatology. Decked out in high-heels and slinky evening wear, duo Lucy McCormick and Jennifer Pick appear on the bare stage undisturbed by the fact that their bodies and faces are smeared with what appears to be shit.

Their comedic timing is awkwardly impeccable, as they present themselves as hosts of the unusual evening about to unfold. There is little sense in parsing the show's narrative threads, especially since there is hardly one to hold onto. The performance rather revolves around the disturbingly co-dependent relationship between the two women; McCormkick who chats up the audience and her stage partner, seeking approval from any available source, and Pick who slings (thankfully) nothing but insults and sarcastic one-liners in return.

The audience is eventually keyed into the fact that the evening's festivities are meant to be taking place in the couple's home, and that we have in fact been cast as guests in the most-erotically-nightmarish house party on earth. By fixing our gaze through the show's 'tiny peephole', as described by the couple, we become complicit in the depraved dynamic between them and, what's most troubling, is that we kind of like it.

'Number 1, the Plaza' adeptly treads the line between fascination and repulsion. It's a smart and skillful assault on decency. In this sexy, sloppy sojourn into discovering our dirtiest little secrets, Pick and McCormack ask their audiences to examine the most vile parts of themselves and, like them, to do it in public. 

1 comment:

  1. Love your first line Molly. It’s a really good, peppy piece of writing. What I’d say is that you tend to avoid the ideas in the show to focus on the energy and execution. That’s fine, but what I really want to know is what you got from the piece, how its content translated into a thought process for you, what stuck out. Don’t be afraid to take a few more word, and to really talk us through what’s going on onstage. Or, if you’re keeping it tight in terms of wordcounts - really hard for a show as slippery as this - it’s worth cutting to the chase of the ideas and offering a response to the show. The difference is between what did you think during/after the show and what did you think of the show. It’s probably the difference between criticism and a review. You’ve got a really nice, natural writing style that’s really easy to read. I think you could be brilliant at longer-form stuff.