Boilerhouse, Seizer

Review in Issue 9-3 | Autumn 1997

This show was a re-enactment of the popular Roman pastime of throwing the Christians to the lions. Only there were no Christians and the performers were to be the sacrificial lambs. On entering the Quad crowds were ushered in front of a huge screen as search lights scanned the arena. Leather clad performers awaited the arrival of Seizer (Caesar, get it?) on top of his armoured car, complete with turntables, DJ style.

Then they were forced, cajoled and persuaded by Seizer (Tam Dean Burn) to reveal their darkest secrets in the name of entertainment. The audience were to be judge and jury of the performers’ fate. Using familiar formats – tabloid newspapers, video, television – Seizer showed, in close-up, the pain of those who become the subjects of media humiliation. Cameras were thrust into the hapless performers’ faces, their discomfort spread across the large screen for all to see. The stories the victims told were sensationalist. Tales of impotency, rape and promiscuity. The stories that sell a thousand Sunday papers every weekend. These were interwoven with sounds ‘spun’ from Seizer’s decks.

Tam Dean Burn was beautifully vindictive as Seizer. The self-referential script helped to demystify the theatrical experience and gave the action a distinct immediacy. At times the quality of movement seemed weak and a little lost in the sheer scale of the event. This could have been due to the restrictive nature of the costumes. Still, these small criticisms did not detract from the overall piece which was adventurous and dynamic.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-3
p. 21