Theatre preview: How You Gonna Live Your Dash
- Gareth K Vile
- 18 January 2016
Jenna Watt reflects on life changing decisions
After the success of her solo show, Flâneurs, which took the experimental approach of Live Art and married it to a serious contemplation on the threat of apparently random violence, Jenna Watt is returning with a two-hander that considers the way that people have made decisions to change their lives.
Having been inspired by a quotation from the Werner Herzog documentary Into the Abyss, Watt realised that she could express the scale and beauty of these decisions through literal pyrotechnics.
'I would say the aesthetic of the smoke effects has determined more of the performance format than anything else, because I knew before I'd finished writing the show what it would look like visually. So much of the performance format has been influenced by how to frame the pyro effects.'
But far from being flashy spectacle, the effects, Watt explains, offer opportunities for the audience to contemplate. Having used real life testimonies, How You Gonna Live Your Dash is a serious and thoughtful reflection on subjects ranging from drug addiction to moving countries. And while Watt never abandons a restless energy that comes from her interest in the more experimental edges of performance, her charismatic presence and willingness to address the audience lends her work a comfortable and engaging power.