York Theatre Royal Live Stream

On the Outskirts of a Large Event by Joe Houlders and The Bare Project


This is a video from 2 weeks of research and development in March 2017 at York Theatre Royal.

Our initial way into this show was an interest in the experience of solitary confinement and scapegoating. Migrant centres in the UK were using solitary confinement as a punishment, and at the same media outlets were routinely dehumanising people who were, in many cases, having to flee warzones. In our first phase of research and development, we found that the elements of the show that felt the most dramatic and rich were related to fear and blame – in all probability because this has been an extremely live issue over the past couple of years, e.g. with media coverage of the EU referendum. 

How the show has developed since then

We are experimenting more with the ideas of blame, fear and culpability now – the key components of scapegoating. At the same time, we are also making the show more overtly magic realist (a genre that is a regular source of inspiration for us as a company.) It is basically the same story – certainly the same world, and tone – but told from a different perspective, and from a different point in time.

Central image of iceberg

In the current version of the show, the central image is an iceberg. This is the main source of tension in the play: its arrival is a surprise, and hard to explain; what is more, it is not behaving in the way we would expect an iceberg to.

This, of course, connects the piece to the subject of environmental change. Whilst this was not the starting point of the journey of this piece, we are keen to embrace this theme in the piece and in the wraparound activities which surround the piece- namely in workshops with the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity and Lush Charity Pot.