Old People, Children and Animals
Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 19–Sat 21 Jun
Many of us have elderly relatives, kids, even pets, but in our busy lives, how much time do we actually spend worrying about their welfare? Certainly, these three groups have rarely appeared on a stage together, so Manchester-based company Quarantine are to be applauded for devising an entire show around precisely this neglect.
‘The piece started from the concept of wanting to work with that generational gap,’ says artistic director Richard Gregory. ‘It’s also about the audience, most of whom will belong to the generation that sits in between youth and old age. It gives an opportunity to look backwards to childhood, and also to the future.’
The ‘animals’ of the title refers to real, live creatures. ‘The animals are an unknown quality, and that’s why we’ve got them,’ says Gregory. ‘It’s about them doing what they do, but on stage. I’m making parallels between the animals, the four-year-old child and the 68-year-old performer. The show asks: “How aware are we about how others see us. How aware is an animal that it’s on stage, how aware is a four-year-old, a 17- or 61-year old?”’
The main focus of Quarantine’s work is always to ask questions, including those that may not have immediate answers. ‘Is this show a work of genius, or a recipe for chaos?’ could well be one of them.