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Talented drama graduates make their Barbican debut with an unconventional offering

Posted on 27/04/2010

he unique performance runs from April 28 at the Barbican

Six drama graduates from Royal Holloway, University of London will begin a three-week run of their debut piece ‘Would like to meet’ on April 28 at the Barbican in London, one of the country’s most prestigious theatres.

The group, Non Zero One – who were formed as part of the Drama and Theatre course at Royal Holloway and graduated from the College last summer – have established themselves as a working theatre company touring new work to various theatres and festivals.

‘Would like to meet’ began as an end-of-year assignment set by the Department of Drama and Theatre and was spotted by Barbican producers after the students won funding to stage the work at the Southwark Playhouse last June.

At the start of the unique participatory performance, the audience, made up of six participants, become part of an unfolding drama as a voice through headphones directs their movements and actions around the Barbican foyer.

Alex Turner, one of the six graduates explains, "We decided to push the boundaries to explore the idea of audience responsibility. The six members of the audience, each guided by a different recorded voice, are sent on six different experiences, during which they may encounter each other or interact with strategically placed actors before they are reunited at the end. We are posing the question ‘Can you miss someone you've never met?'"

"People form an attachment with the anonymous voice. It doesn't just issue instructions, it engages with them emotionally and they have to put complete trust in it while it guides them through the various scenarios."

Fellow graduate John Hunter said, "We are, of course, thrilled to have been offered a commission from one of europe's largest arts venues, and we are enjoying every minute of the challenge.

"Being given room to challenge traditional theatrical forms during our course at Royal Holloway was so key to the formation of the piece. The introduction to new forms and dramatic possibilities really helped us realise what can be done, and where we wanted to take it."

The Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre, Dr Gilli Bush-Bailey, said: “Non Zero One represent the consistently high standard of performance work produced in the department and increasingly recognised in the theatre profession. The department is delighted to see this group of graduates attract such positive attention for their work.”

Royal Holloway’s Department of Drama and Theatre is one of the leading theatre departments in the country. For further information, see: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Drama/

‘Would Like To Meet’ runs in the Barbican Centre foyers from 28 April to 16 May. Box office 0845 120 7550


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