Theatre Review: Would Like To Meet @ Barbican

By Hazel Last edited 103 months ago
Theatre Review: Would Like To Meet @ Barbican

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non zero one have created a beguiling experience set in the Barbican, and that's the whole building not just the theatre or Pit. In the immersive Would Like To Meet, six participants are given .mp3 players and headphones through which a voice ponders aloud on the orangeness of the concert hall, the curve of the stairs and who might be in the crowds.

Among these musings come instructions - where to walk, when to stop, who to look at and how to partake in carefully orchestrated exchanges with fellow travellers. The mind-boggling synchronicity and incredible precise timing between the six players must have taken months of testing and fine-tuning; it's nothing short of miraculous to be handed a pen just as the voice instructs you to accept the pen offered to you.

Each participant leaves traces of themselves around the building, sometimes unwittingly, sometimes purposefully, always at the command of the voice. The ephemera of personalisation - Post-It notes, tickets, pens, video clips, a very special sort of phone message - are all incorporated into this evocative and atmospheric experience. It's theatre where the audience take all the roles and every space except the auditorium and stage are for playing.

Participants aren't required to 'perform' so shy people needn't steer clear. An ability to follow instructions is all that is required; this is a gentle, introspective, low pressure experience, all the more enjoyable because there's no showiness to it. Tip: concentrate and follow instructions precisely. One wrong turn or missed step can really bugger the whole of Would Like To Meet, not just for oneself but the rest of the players. It's an ensemble piece, no matter how much of a solo it feels.

Would Like To Meet, at the Barbican until 16 May. For more information and to book a slot, go to the Barbican website.

Last Updated 27 April 2010