Thursday 12 January 2017

Outside 'The Box'. Looking In.

I saw a show last night. Well, when I say a show, I mean a performance. I experienced a performance. A disturbing performance. One man. In a cage. Slowly losing his mind. I stood on the outside of the cage. Not allowed to sit. Had to stand. For an hour. We all did.

The man was disturbed. He was angry. He had been bad. He needed to be punished. Alone. Solitary confinement, I think they call it.

Over the course of sixty minutes we watched. Some of us sipped uncomfortably at our drinks. But we did not speak. He did. He shouted. And swore. A lot. He hit himself. A lot.

At the end we did not know what to do. The lights came on. We left. The man was still in the cage. 

I did not know that I was going to experience 'The Box', an extreme piece of drama by extreme political artists Badac Theate. I thought I was just going be front-of-house, checking in the audience. But Norwich Arts Centre director Pasco-Q Kevlin had other ideas. 'David', he said, 'You need to see this. Go in. I will watch the front desk'.

And I am pleased that I did. I'm not sure that I fully understood the ending. I'm not sure anyone did for sure. And I think that was the point. But we all came out with questions. Questions burning in our minds. It had made us think. Through an intense and disturbing experience we not only questioned what we had seen and heard, but questioned ourselves.

And I think that was the point.


 'The Box', by Steve Lambert, contains strong language, and may be disturbing to some people. And expect to stand for the duration of the performance.

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