While some have stuck to their New Year resolutions from day one of 2007, some have yet to get round to resolution number one which is to stop procrastinating and get on with quitting smoking / cutting down on drinking / doing more exercise / spending less time online reading blogs (we hope you never manage the last one). Whichever camp you fall into, the daily grind of being good or at least trying to be, is bound to feel rather wearying; where has all the colour gone? When will we see the sun again? Must we stay in and do the dishes?
Oval House has taken it upon itself to show us the beauty in the mundane and the domestic and hopefully, this short season of new work will bring a bit of brightness back into the otherwise grey second month of the year. Where The Art Is runs from tonight to 10 February and features four solo performances that are not the standard one-woman / one-man shows; as well as exploring and perhaps destroying perceptions of suburbia and domesticity, there is the promise of some very interesting and bold dramatic innovations. Oval House isn't known for presenting theatre that is shy and retiring or has no sense of humour.
1157 performancegroup have been presenting experimental and boundary-breaking work for 12 years and are bringing The Living Room, an evolving audio and visual installation to the season. Artist/performer Jo Dagless will invite people in to a faithful recreation of her living room for a cup of tea and a chat. All the conversations are recorded and played back in the room until eventually, the room echoes and vibrates with different recollections and traces of earlier interactions.
The second offering from 1157 is Stories from Suburbia - supersonic theatrical chaos (pictured), a performed monologue by a man struggling with his suburban identity. The other monologue in the season comes with snacks: The Ideal Recipe is "part dinner party, part genealogical excavation, part cookery demonstration" performed by Ellen Duckenfield who cooks as she tells her story. And finishing the season is Her Bungalow Heart", written and performed by Tom Marshman who recalls and relives his Nanna's home as it was when she was still with him and what it is like now she is gone.
Is home where the art is? Get out and see.
Where The Art Is season at Oval House, 29 January to 10 February. For the full programme and to book tickets, go to the season's information page at the Oval House website here.