Harry Josephine Giles: 'Drone is about what it might feel like to be a military drone, who is also an office worker, who is also me'
- Gareth K Vile
- 10 April 2019
Poet's multimedia collaboration features sound, live visuals and spoken word
Encasing Harry Josephine Giles' poetry within Jamie Wardrop's striking videography and a menacing soundscape from Neil Simpson, Drone sits comfortably within the emerging movement of spoken word artists expanding their performances into a more immersive, comprehensive theatrical experience. As co-founder and curator of Anatomy, Edinburgh's celebrated and successful night of alternative performance, Giles is one of many Scottish artists who refuse the obvious traditions of theatre and engage in a lively, sometimes personal, sometimes political, and frequently provocative fusion of media.
'Drone is about what it might feel like to be a military drone, who is also an office worker, who is also me,' Giles explains. 'I began writing it when I was doing work I didn't fully believe in that was even more complicit in enormous flows of global capital than I am now, and I began writing it when I hadn't fully admitted I was trans and, as we say, had Shit To Work Out.'
Despite the uncompromising content, Drone is more a subtle challenging of accepted ideas than a raw political commentary. 'Political is so trendy,' Giles continues. 'There's nothing you can say that's radical enough to make people stop giving you money: you'd have to actually kill someone.' The titular drone, however, is implicated in the system – 'anxious, angry, broken, bad, responsible and failing, part human, part machine and all horror, she wants to change the world for the better.' Uncompromising, intelligent and harnessing the power of technology, Drone is aimed at the heart and the head.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 11–Sat 13 Apr; Tue 4 & Wed 5 Jun, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; and touring.