People Show 'is the sum of the imagination of the people in the room'
The devised theatre company is a living link to the birth of contemporary experimental performance
People Show emerged in the 1960s, part of a wave of collaborative, collective companies making performances in ways that challenged the traditional script and director process. A clear influence on many of the devising companies that found success in subsequent decades, Jessica Worrell notes that 'while we are coming up to our 50th anniversary, we have stayed close to our roots in how we make work and what sort of work we make .'
'It is a non-hierarchical company, she continues. 'The whole thing is we don't use conventional roles or name tags. We still use the same process as in 1966 – although I wasn't there – and the key phrase is: it is the sum of the imagination of the people in the room. There may be routines we fall into, but it is about how we all come together and make it.'
People Show 124 is a typical mixture: concerned with isolation and fear, it wanders through discussions of media control and football, with live music and video. 'There is an installation during the day, and the performances in the evening,' says Worrell. A reminder of how theatre can break boundaries, People Show is a living link to the foundations of contemporary experimental performance.
CCA, Glasgow, Mon 16–Sat 21 Jun.