2011 Arches Live! theatre programme is biggest yet

Arches Live!

Over 30 performances of challenging theatre and live art

As Edinburgh’s yearly festivities wind down, Glasgow’s Arches steps up with another packed out schedule of new, challenging theatre and live art. Often regarded as a platform for exciting young Scottish artists, 2011’s Arches Live! programme is the biggest yet with over 30 performances.

Stef Smith, the writer behind last year’s much-lauded Roadkill, is trying out a rehearsed reading of Jamais Vu, a script developed with the aid of the Playwright’s Studio Scotland. Inspired by the real-life case of Andrea Yates, an American woman who drowned her children in a bathtub, we see the
character of Cassandra becoming unstable after losing her job.

‘You go on this journey with her as she tries to grasp on to things within her life to stay buoyant,’ Smith explains. ‘Mental health is one of the last taboos because people don’t talk about it. The reason I want to make this kind of work is that I want to make people feel less alone.’

Ross MacKay’s The Medium, developed with the National Theatre of Scotland, is anything but a traditional magic show. ‘I’m looking at famous mediums that were around in the Victorian times, leading up to a recreation of the séance itself with the audience,’ says MacKay, better known for his work as part of theatre collective Tortoise in a Nutshell.

‘For me, what’s most interesting about “modern” magic is that it blurs the line between what’s illusion and what is reality,’ he continues. ‘With Derren Brown, it’s no longer this Paul Daniels-style magic trickery. It’s looking at what is reality and how that can be manipulated and Arches Live! is a great opportunity to experiment.’

Cara Berger, the director behind Backbone and Navel #3, agrees: ‘Theatre is a place where people come together to speak about their cultures and their lives and open up new perspectives on issues.’

Berger is working alongside Glasgow collective Flatrate to reimagine the Genesis story as direct image theatre from an environmental and feminist perspective, inspired by philosopher Helene Cixous. ‘The problem is that the common reading of Genesis positioned women as sinful. Adam is given the right to govern over nature and the woman because of her sin.’

The Arches, Glasgow, Tue 20 Sep–Sat 1 Oct

Thom Scullion: Play (Station)

An interactive installation where audience and artist share time together through the medium of computer games. Part of Arches Live.

Euan Ogilvie: The Bystander Effect

Experimental performance testing the individual’s sense of free will against their desire to fit in with those around them. Part of Arches Live.

Peter McMaster & Nic Green: The Fire Burns and Burns

An immersive and intimate exploration of ‘aliveness’ and the notion of the fire inside. Part of Arches Live.

Nichola Scrutton: Songs for a Stranger

Sound artist and vocalist Scrutton and vocalist Hänni improvise with fragments of text and extended electroacoustic techniques to explore the feelings of strangerdom. Part of Arches Live.

Cara Berger for Flatrate: Backbone and Navel #3

Direct image theatre inspired by feminist philosopher Helene Cixous, and very much tapping into a zeitgeisty debate about female identity today. Part of Arches Live.

Vile Arts: Critical Confessions

Skinny performance critic Gareth K Vile, styling himself as 'Mr Criticulous' invites you into his chamber of discernment to learn the vile art of Performance Criticism. Part of Arches Live.

Arches LIVE

A selection of the boldest new work being created across the country encompassing a selection of formats including experimental performance, narrative theatre, one-on-one experiences, live art, visual art and more.

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