Art can make you live longer.
Thanks art.
-Tim Crouch
Shattering the boundaries of theatre, England, performed by Tim Crouch and Hannah Ringham take narration out of narrative, take characters out of performers, completely do away with stage, lighting and half of the cast. This moving and emotionally intimate performance was held in the Elizabeth Leech Gallery. Over the din of chatting audience members, standing in a gallery filled with the post-modern work of Sean Healy, Tim Crouch walking into the room, said hello to me and other audience members then he tried to corral us to attention.
Crouch and Ringham spoke, standing there in the gallery and we, the audience were transfixed by their story. The two actors, told the same story, by the same character. Sometimes they spoke over each other in a Caryl Churchill Top Girls fashion, sometimes they spoke quietly and somehow without any action other than facial expressions and voice modulations, I fell into their story easily and without regret. The narrative of their play was as much a part of the performance as the manner in which it was performed. Blurring the lines of monologue and a singular narrative, Crouch and Ringham played with present time and the past, continuing a dialogue with a silent other. Crouch’s smile is infectious. His whole bald head lights up when he smiles, it made me happy to see him smiling through the performance, even with the story shifted in intensity. The story, about life and death, about what gifts we give and what gifts we receive reminded me of Robert Arneson’s Chemo Portraits. Raw and intimate, powerful and intense.
After the performance, I migrated to another venue with a handful of other audience members. As I waited in line, Tim and Hannah were there, freshly changed into their own clothes, waiting in line for Reggie Watts. I congratulated them on their remarkable performance. Hannah looked tired from her efforts, less than an hour before and Tim munched on some crackers. We chatted, along with some middle aged women who disappointedly dominated the conversation. Tim and Hannah were generous with their time and energy, talking about their process, about the festival and about what a great city Portland is. This is what I love about TBA, not just the art, not just the bringing together of the wide tentacles of the creative city but also that the performers of one piece instantly transform into the audience of the next.
-Ariel Frager
Artist+Member+TBA Junkie