Forget being entertained from the comfort of a velvety chair in an auditorium. Recent theatre performances in underground vaults, toilet cubicles or lifts have opened Scottish audiences’ eyes to the added value that site specific and promenade productions can bring. Besides throwing people together in sometimes disarmingly cosy spaces, it’s a fast-forwarded method of breaking down barriers and challenging perceptions of what it means to be a spectator.
LJ Dodd, curator of the Arches upcoming Off-Site programme likes the idea of people stumbling across events where they least expect them; like Stereo’s cafe-bar (site of Rotozaza’s Etiquette, where two strangers are told what to say to each other via headphones), or a multi-storey car park (the setting for Andy Field’s Motor Vehicle Sundown, for one car-full of people at a time).
‘It’ll be fantastic if people actually just bump into these shows, and suddenly their day takes a completely different direction than they’d planned’, says Dodd.
Off-Site began through necessity – the Arches is closed during January and February while improvements are made to Central Station – but has grown to include performances in a disused shop in Govan (The National Theatre of Scotland’s Allotment), a Pollokshields flat (Molly Taylor’s dinner party meets play, A La Carte) and a staging of Nic Green’s naked Fringe hit, Trilogy at the Barbican.
‘Off-site events let you feel like you’ve gone on an adventure in the city, and seen something that made you think a bit differently,’ says Dodd. ‘I think that brings something really exciting to them.’
Various venues, Glasgow, Tue 2 Feb–Sat 27 Feb