Mapping4D, Little English - Another British Museum

Review in Issue 14-3 | Autumn 2002

As soon as I entered the theatre, I was presented with something unexpected: the seats were stripped and the whole space transformed into a white box museum. Exhibited were six examples of people living in Engand: ‘The Londoner’, ‘The second generation immigrant’, etc. As we walked among them, they began to speak their various experiences of Englishness, gradually building an impression of the cultural diversity of the society which this project takes as its subject.

The striking design and delicate direction provided a fascinating environment to occupy and the audience genuinely did have the choice of which voices to listen to. The storytellers were diverse not only in their backgrounds but also in delivery and style, which appealed to me, as this seemed to allow their personal experiences individual voice.

However, as the piece moved away from installation in the direction of a more recognisable theatricality, I felt that this diversity caused problems. The different levels of performance within the company made it difficult to feel truly struck by the ensemble images and scenes, leaving the performers looking a little lost in space and the piece becoming more general, both theatrically and politically.

This is an ambitious and exciting project and, for me, the most interesting direction for its future would be to find a conclusion more related to the detail of the personal experiences of those performing within it, with which the piece began.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-3
p. 26