if you think you’re not afraid of the dark…
if you say you have a strong stomach…
if you believe nothing can shock you…
Not for the faint hearted, Schlock collides the real with the really fake. Personal experiences of bodily trauma and fears about accidents or violent attacks encounter the erotica of TV hospital dramas and horror flicks. The result is a darkly comic and disconcerting mix of poignant confession and B-movie melodrama, real acts of violence and pints of fake blood. Schlock asks if we can we sit at the bedside of a loved-one in hospital, or hear the beeps of a heart monitor, without thinking of endless scenes from film or TV? What is it in horror that holds us, makes us want to look at accidents as we drive-by? Uninvited Guests explore our desire to look and to look away.
Duncan worked with Uninvited Guests to explore the performers as acoustic instruments, using a stethoscope to live-sample noises from their bodies and soundtrack the show. Custom-built software enables us to process each others’ voices with pressure sensors, to increase our sampled heart-beats to impossible rates and trigger plundered samples through body contact.
The performers speak directly to the audience through a clear Perspex screen. It’s as if they possess a kind of second-sight as they retell others’ accidents and injuries as though they happened, or will happen, to them, or to you.
A Leeds Met Studio Theatre and Hull Time Based Arts co-commission. Funded by Arts Council England, South West. Supported by Dartington College of Arts.
Toured to: Battersea Arts Centre, London (1 week run); Leeds Metropolitan University Studio Theatre; Hull Time-Based Arts; Green Room, Manchester; Wickham Theatre, Bristol, in association with Arnolfini; Nuffield, Lancaster; Leicester Phoenix; Exeter Phoenix; Alsager Arts Centre; Colchester Arts Centre; The Junction, Cambridge; The Arches, Glasgow as part of their international theatre festival.
“Uninvited Guests deliver their most intense excavation of that melancholy zone where extreme, often deeply personal experience meets the detritus of the pop-cultural information age.” The Stage
“...an abundance of intellect and a sharp performance style...trauma made manifest in the hammering of a racing heart.” The Guardian
“... a thrilling and disconcerting performance: both visceral and cerebral, allowing the audience to experience the fault lines between experienced and performed violence.” Total Theatre
“… a powerful examination of the recurring human fascination with narratives of violence and horror.” The Scotsman