The Queue-Kit

Feature in Issue 21-2 | Summer 2009

How to survive the queues at the NRLA? Here’s Total Theatre Magazine’s queue-buster solutions

A Book of Short Stories

Preferably something with a non-sequitur at the end, like Raymond Carver. This will act as a kind of cultural sorbet, or palate-cleanser. And you should be able to get through one per queue.

Anti-SAD Lighting

If they made this pocket-sized, then it would help prevent the grimy feeling you get from being in lightless tunnels all day. Alternatively, one artist at NRLA 2009, Marcel Sparmann, was constantly walking around the block, and encouraged others to too, which was very refreshing, and refreshingly unpretentious. Perhaps someone could hold your place in the queue while you nip round the block, although place saving is breaking the unwritten NRLA laws-of-the-queue.

A Kinder Surprise

Someone at one point was eating an ice-cream, and this was to be envied. However, a Kinder Surprise would entertain you with a plastic toy once the sugary diversion had finished.


Has a wonderful way of distorting time. So long as you don’t lose your place in the queue popping to the lav after.


Obvious really. Options range from the conventional one-man-band model, to queuing as an opportunity for interactive art-making.

Old Time and Sequence Dance Classes

There are many dances, the Military Two-Step for example, that could easily be taught, and danced, in a queue.


Send one to someone at the other end of the queue. Perhaps an in-house postman could be provided next year?

Suggestions for the queues compiled by Laura Lloyd inspired by conversations held at NRLA 2009 (whilst queuing, of course) with Dorothy Max Prior, Richard DeDomenici, Katie Etheridge and others.

Referenced Festivals

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-2
p. 23