7 – 10 October, 2003
Birmingham City Council had contributed a small sum to the creation of the show so we had to present it in Birmingham as soon as possible. We had originally envisaged the piece in an empty shop unit, opening off a major shopping street with window space to promote its self.
Seeing another show in a shop unit taught us that shop units are not the white cube blank canvases we had imagined. Unless you put a lot of work into them they will always look tatty, waiting for fixtures and fittings to be replaced. At the same time Graeme had made contact with the Dean of Birmingham Cathedral and reported him very open to artistic ideas. So it proved. We knew the Informal European Theatre Meeting was coming to Birmingham in October 2003 and this seemed the ideal context to present the show.
Exploring the show for a second time was very instructive. We learnt how it can work with its architectural and social setting. Whilst fun, the show became slightly more reverent in its ecclesiastical setting. Sat in the centre of the nave the show also challenged the Cathedral to work around it.
The mix of visitors was rewarding, some came for the art and were surprised by the church’s understated beauty, others came for the understated beauty only to be surprised by the art. Awe of the architecture led to some people stepping on the art as they gazed as stained glass and decorative ceilings. Engagement with the art led some people to disturb devotions but generally it was a very positive collaboration.
Lowlight of the show was a fire alarm at the neighbouring department store leading hundreds of retail staff to trample the show underfoot whilst escaping the rain (and no existent flames).
Performers: Sarah Archdeacon, Amanda Hadingue, James Yarker
Concept: James Yarker
General Manager: Charlotte Martin
Advisory Producer: Nick Sweeting