Reckless Sleepers, Parasite

Review in Issue 6-1 | Spring 1994

Parasite is a 45 minute performance/installation. The five performers exist within a wooden, box-like room, where we, the audience, become the flies on the walls. Placed around the edges, we sometimes absorb, and sometimes laugh at the tensions which escalate between the performers in this limited ‘living space’. As the performance builds, the set is brought further into play – whole sections of wall are brought down and the performers rush in and out of doors and windows, placing the audience literally at the centre of the action.

Although this manipulation of the set is reminiscent of the ‘object work’ of Reckless Sleepers, it also marks the move towards a closer attention to the interaction between the performers themselves. At moments they are almost insect-like in their responses, creating a certain glint in the eye, or a quirky physicality, whilst at other moments the performance rises to a wholly human, personal and private sense of drama. Two people move to kiss, whilst two others fight to kill – only to get up again and move off somewhere else.

The action seems to move in cycles. A series of actions, a piece of text, or a build up in tension begins to be recognised. Such a feeling adds to our sense of claustrophobia and forces us to wonder if we’re ever going to get out of here, and if the performers will eventually really kill each other. Until finally the walls come down and the action is given the space to breathe. There is a new sense of calm amongst the performers and a sense of relief amongst the audience.

Although Parasite could be developed in terms of a crystallisation of ideas and performance quality, it points towards a new direction for the company in terms of the complexity of content and also of a more direct audience contact.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-1
p. 18