The Garden of Adrian
- Steve Cramer
- 11 June 2009
GilmorehillG12, Glasgow, Mon 15–Sat 20 Jun
There can be few performers with the immense personal charm of Adrian Howells. His is a theatrical presence that inspires trust, and deservedly so. Perhaps only Howells could carry off this latest piece of performance, which involves a journey around GilmorehillG12.
We’re promised a ravishing visual spectacle in this site-specific piece, courtesy of designer Minty Donald, but there’s more to it than that. As well as two sites for contemplation, we are guided individually by Howells through five for each of our senses, with a particular emphasis upon touch. ‘I end up spooning with them on a grassy knoll,’ Howell comments. ‘I’ve become very interested in the idea of bodily confession or bodily exchange in one to one performances over the last three years. This is about issues of intimacy. I think there’s a great deal that goes on between people that isn’t just about speaking and listening. We often talk about the idea of confession as something that is spoken and heard. I’m trying to look at the idea that a lot goes on that’s conveyed through touch.’
You might be alarmed by this prospect, but Howells is a performer to trust. ‘People who aren’t familiar with my work might not be comfortable with this, but I see it as my responsibility to make the audience feel really at home and unthreatened. And of course, to make them realise that they have total agency to say, “I don’t want to do that”.’ Meantime, you might find much to learn in Howells’ gentle reflection on loneliness and isolation in our culture.