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Review: 3rd Ring Out, PULSE festival 2010

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Review: 3rd Ring Out, PULSE festival 2010

An interesting concept, but slightly flawed – in a nutshell, my view of Metis Arts’ 3rd Ring Out. The audience is invited into a shipping container to find a mocked up crisis centre. There are just two actors,  your governmental advisors, who guide you through the story; the temperature is rising worldwide, ice caps are melting and Ipswich is at risk of flooding, night time temperatures of 24 centigrade and storms of a ferocity never experienced in Britain. Less of a performance and more of an experience, it is the audience who call the shots, decide on what defences to build, where to send supplies or when to call in the police. It’s described as having “the immediacy of theatre combined with the thrill of a disaster movie,” but unfortunately thrill isn’t the right word. Though certainly interesting and engaging, I felt as though it was all a little stifled, both from the small space and because we were required to wear headphones, meaning communication between us was limited. It would have been much better if, instead of secret votes into a computer system, the decisions were made after vocal discussions. There were also moments when the show seemed to stutter; the ‘guides’ had a system of cue cards to use depending on our responses (which does suggest the votes weren’t rigged), but this sometimes halted proceedings as the right cards were dug out, giving off an unpolished feel. The use of mock news reports, interviews and computer simulations did however impress, at least giving the feeling that the event could happen, and it brought about a new way of highlighting a serious issue.


Image: ZK


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