“ROMCOM or, THE DISTANCE LOVE CAN BE MAINTAINED BETWEEN ANY TWO DIVERGING POINTS”. Following BLOKE, and some experiments in late 2002, Ant Hampton and Glen Neath created "ROMCOM".
3.00pm - 3.45pm ROMCOM: Jodie Hawkes & Peter Phillips
5.00pm - 5.45pm ROMCOM: Zierle & Carter
7.00pm - 7.45pm ROMCOM: Jenna Watt & Shaun C Badham
Two performers meet on stage before an audience and enact the story of a relationship. The performers, different for every performance, agree in advance to do the show, but have absolutely no idea what is expected of them; they simply turn up and put on a set of headphones through which instructions are given to them about what to say and do. It's important they haven't been told anything about the show's contents beforehand.
The two tracks - one for each performer - are started simultaneously with a video track. The video (which also contains the music for the show) doubles up as the lighting: there are no other light sources. The three separate machines (two audio, one video) then run on for 50 minutes without any human intervention; the entire stage business in ROMCOM - blackouts, titles for scenes, sound cues, music, lighting - is therefore automated, using very simple means. The structure is totally automatic and ‘closed’, thereby foregrounding the variable, human process of negotiating and carrying out the instructions.
“Fragility in Motion” - notes on Romcom by Thomas Frank - here
Revised, rewritten and re-edited version for 2011 coproduced by Kaserne, Basle, Switzerland
Text: Glen Neath
Concept / direction: Ant Hampton
Video: Britt Hatzius
Creative production: Katja Timmerberg
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