The 25-minute performance follows two mother characters as they lose and find one another in various locations, tidy away toys, converse, drink, dance and repeat themselves. They discuss the intricacies of domestic chores, making lists, worrying and not worrying, self-confidence (or lack of it), semantics and verbal articulacy. Intermittently, they ask “Where are the children?” and note that it becomes “impossible to say where we are right now” as they move through continually changing virtual sets. The sense of togetherness followed by separation grew increasingly marked and dramatic as the performance progressed.
Techniques and solutions
Pigeon Theatre built up their ideas progressively, using improvisations and developing scripted sequences. They were fascinated by what could be achieved that was specific to the digital medium and not replicable on a traditional stage. Such sequences extended the company’s ongoing explorations of identity politics in a novel way, using compositing techniques to interrogate notions of selfhood and otherness. Using a Google Chrome browser they connected to a vMix host where they were chromakeyed together and relayed to an audience via YouTube Live and Zoom.
Reflections and outcomes
The company reflected that one of the most surprising and satisfying aspects of the project was that it led to a radical change from their usual style of performance. Where previously their work was grounded in place and the down-to-earth material realities of site-specific events, this production explored out-of-the-ordinary spaces, which took their aesthetic and theatrical point of view into a whole new direction. They noted how surprised they were with the levels of intimacy the system brought about, particularly when the two of them rehearsed alone without the research team being co-present.