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Review: Experimentica Day #4 @ Chapter Arts Centre

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 19/11/2015 at 16:42
0 comments » - Tagged as Art, Culture, Festivals, Music, Stage

  • Kanye in a sardine tin

Experimentica Day #4
Chapter Arts Centre
Saturday 7th November 2015

This fourth day of Experementica would prove the most busy, as it is with Saturdays.

Aaron Williamson showed himself Demonstrating the World, on High Street. In his little booth, with striking and highly practical furniture, he simply showed us how to use these designer pieces. With Sign Language signals seen on both sides of the booth, several passers-by observed his guides, but quickly moved on. Because this furniture required help in how to prepare them, little else was gained from this event.

Missing both George Barber's Home Taping cinema event and Holley Davey's early morning endeavour, the studio was set for Ben Tinniswood and his new piece entitled Shh. Out of all the things seen at the festival, this was by far the most unbearable. The audiences sat in an arrow-like formation, with Ben taking up the final seat to talk to us about his own experience of child abuse and justice. We, as an audience, were locked in place and he began to talk of the catharsis of telling his dog what had happened. He then put on a full dog costume and messed around for a while, the usher giving us balls for him to catch, with some audience members throwing the balls right at him. One ball that Ben handed us had the phrase "This is our little secret" adding to the agony of the real situation.

The fun feeling didn't last for long as we see him eventually get frustrated and fling the balls upon a heater, giving out amazing percussive sounds. Removing his costume and taping his mouth and chest, what followed was an epileptic's worst nightmare. Flashes, flashes and more flashes attacked us, as the noise from speakers become almost totally unbearable. The piece wrapped up with a policewoman over the speakers, as Ben confirmed who molested him. The work ended with him thanking us and informing us to enjoy the rest of the festival. I sat there for moments afterwards, head down in disbelief, needing to recover from what I had just seen. Beyond powerful and an assault to the emotions.

There was little time to truly recover from Shh, as Docile Bodies and Hysterical Selfies was soon to start. It was basically Dawn Wooley posing in a bedroom set and taking selfies for half an hour. The statement about girls overdoing the whole selfie thing was made very clear shortly into the piece, as people began to walk out. With more and more silly poses, the piece is billed as having themes to do with the hysterics of yesteryear, and them being admired is pushing it a bit.

Tim Bromage and his H.O.R.S.E. was a perplexing mix of magic and intrigue. I recognised Jim Dahl from Made in Roath a few weeks prior, as he played an integral part in this show. The story element, with added mysteries, is far less interesting than the actual magic on display here. How did the bell ring? How did Jim get the suit jacked on himself? How many balls did Tim have in his hand? How could Jim possibly know what was on the tray with tin foil wrapped around his head? Trying to work all this out was the main focus of the show. Of course, I don't believe in magic...

Putting an end to the evening was Kanye West. Well, Rosa Nussbaum putting on the persona of Kanye in a brief, yet mildly humorous piece called Becoming Kanye. Broadcasting the massive ego that the singer extrudes (we never know why a Kanye appeared in her sardine tin), Rosa tried to find a way that you could be your own b******. The handling of race and gender is well played and you feel this could be much longer and a hit at Edinburgh. She insisted that we put on weird hoodie combinations, as we read out some of Kanye's bizarre yet brilliant quotes. The last person to quote was interrupted by Kanye, as he is now infamous for. I didn't get a chance to read out a quote.

The truth is an illusion...

A themed day of magic tricks, child abuse, Kanye West and selfies. 


  • Demonstrating the World: 3 stars
  • Shh: 4 stars
  • Docile Bodies and Hysterical Selfies: 3 stars
  • H.O.R.S.E: 3 stars
  • Becoming Kanye: 3 stars

James' experimental short film, Ogive will premier at Chapter Movie Maker on Monday 7th December 2015.  

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Image Credit: Chapter website

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