Virtuoso (working title)
Proto-type Theater’s Virtuoso (working title)
“An immensely satisfying slice of cultural history- part fantasy-idyll, part disturbing analogy of a self contained world on the brink of destruction.” – Total Theatre
Visual foley. A television show that doesn’t exist. A spot on the wall.
With Virtuoso (working title), Proto-type Theater expands on the sensual experience of their critically acclaimed Whisper into a world of televisual decadence. Three performers stage the story of a stagnant American suburbia, circa 1963, where the minutiae of everyday life has become strange: glass windows portend violence, a spot on the wall promises freedom, a stranger appears in the living room. Playing games to keep boredom at bay, they switch virtuosically from persona to persona, never content to idly wait for something to happen. Outside, the world seems to be closing in on them as the protective banality of suburbia dissolves – leaving them stranded, and exposed.
The audience witnesses the construction of this strange world on three flat screen monitors, behind which the performers can be seen assembling the backgrounds, costumes and props necessary to crafting a series of perfect images. Building the visual world in front of the audience using live video feeds, the performers also manipulate miniature figurines, houses and scenery in a play on scale that toys with the boundaries of perception. Virtuoso (working title) is a negotiation of the live and the mediated, ruminating on love, home, and perfection.
Written/directed by Peter S Petralia
Performed and devised by Mark Esaias, Gillian Lees and Andrew Westerside
Music/sound design by [zygote]
Lighting design by Rebecca MK Makus
The show premiered on 22/23 April at Nuffield Theatre Lancaster.
Virtuoso (working title) is a Nuffield New Works commission from Nuffield Theatre Lancaster. Development time has been provided by the Creation Centre in Ulverston and the bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool.
Supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England
Video Excerpt of Virtuoso (working title):