Arches, Glasgow, Wed 28–Fri 30 May,
Ah, the youth of today. They skulk around at bus stops, they commit acts of arson . . . they devise experimental theatre pieces structured around Pirandello farces. . .
Phil Spencer, one member of the appropriately-named, frighteningly youthful Glasgow theatre collective For We Are Many, is talking me through the genesis of their latest production, Rigmarole. ‘Well, when we’re devising, we spend lots of time playing and pushing each other, hanging around bridges and bus stops and setting each other on fire.’
I laugh. Spencer does not laugh. Yes, apparently For We Are Many have actually set each other on fire in the course of preparing for their third show, which uses Luigi Pirandello’s farce, Right you are (if you think so) as a starting point.
‘The play really has just been a source: we kind of ripped the heart of the narrative of it, dumbed it down for our own purposes, and then layered and layered in all our own ideas about what Pirandello was getting at – fear of the unknown and ostracisation in communities.’
The result is what he describes as a ‘funny, dark, intimate theatrical experiment, played to an audience of 30 around ‘a gigantic dinner table’.
‘What we’re trying to do is distill the, ah, “anarchicness” that comes naturally from being a gang of people who like to make a lot of noise and run about into something that happens in a theatre – into something that makes the absolute most out of the realms of what theatre can be.’