"!" [Hollywood Blues] July 2013 - Page 13

What does “!” [Hollywood Blues] do with that lure? It is, I think, a testament to the art of this performance that, deeply invested in the world of images, it also disrupts our experience of the visual ?eld. There are no props, no ‘scenes’: with the exception of lighting, the conventional paraphernalia of the stage is not there. “!” [Hollywood Blues] happens in and through faces and words. We are close to the bare minimum, in fact. Yet it brings with it the spectacle of disaster, a massive spectre: out of sight, close to us, but invisible. The men and women on stage - or rather, on the other side of that fragile line separating players from audience - are in painful contact with the disasters unfolding before them. They are heroes and victims, bystanders and witnesses, rescue workers and engineers, lovers and friends, reporters and robotic announcers. Their words, their speech, is a type of action. It is also a commentary on the events that, by not taking place on stage, come to occupy an imaginary space forged somewhere between the chorus and an audience that, enticed to dwell in their remembered ?lms, will have seen and heard it all before.2 Not the quasi-hallucinatory realism of cinema, then – the impression of reality, however unreal, that grips us to our seats to experience the pleasures of suffering and destruction – but a type of negative hallucination: not seeing what is not there, yet captured by the vision reeling through our minds. The Ultimate Disaster Movie Spectacular series / Daniel Cortese @rowenaeaston#HollywoodBlues: my head is full of epic images yet the show had no set. Brilliant! @ArtsAgendaUK In a highly visual world #HollywoodBlues ‘!’ challenges our imagination to DIY. Entertaining & thought provoking. By writer @rowenaeaston @ArtsAgendaUK 2 For a fascinating discussion of memory and ?lm, see Victor Burgin, The Remembered Film, London: Reaktion Books 2004. 13