We welcome 2020 with Western Society, a homely odyssey, where the whole world fits into a living room. This is an unmissable opportunity for the TNSJ audience to meet Gob Squad, an artists’ collective that was founded in the 1990s in Nottingham, England, and currently operates in Berlin, Germany. They inhabit a territory where banality coexists with utopia, where one’s physical presence is amplified by digital technologies, which they have optimised in order to bring the real world of everyday life into the artificial world of the theatre. Here and now, they present a stage reconstruction of the taping of a family reunion’s home video. This device, in which the viewers are invited to participate, reveals the most luminous and salacious corners of contemporary culture. Yes: loneliness, consumerism, the search for alienated forms of intimacy, the enticement of pop songs, the obscenity of “reality shows”, the Internet as heaven and hell. Western Society is a dysphoric series of windows that open and close, from the theatre stage to a smartphone screen, from the largest to the smallest. Has the world shrunk? Is this happiness?
concept Gob Squad video design Miles Chalcraft sound design Jeff McGrory technical coordinator and lighting design Chris Umney costumes Emma Cattell & Kerstin Honeit set design realisation Lena Mody dramaturgy and production management Christina Runge artistic assistance Mat Hand Gob Squad management Eva Hartmann
performed and devised by Sean Patten, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Simon Will
produced by Gob Squad (Germany, UK)
originally commissioned and developed with support from Center Theater Group (Los Angeles), Michael Ritchie (artistic director) absolute premiere produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), SPIELART Theaterfestival (Munich), brut (Vienna) co-production A House on Fire supported by Culture Program of the European Union with financial support from Kulturverwaltung (Berlin)
opening 5Out/Oct2013 HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Germany) playing time 1:45 Ages 12 and up
Show in English and German, Portuguese subtitles