Drama graduates win an audience at the Barbican
Would Like To Meet runs at the Barbican Centre from 28 April.
It’s every aspiring actor’s dream to have their work recognised on a big stage – but that’s exactly what happened to six drama graduates who have won a commission from the Barbican in London, one of the country’s most prestigious theatres.
Would Like To Meet, devised on a £120 budget by student company non zero one, requires a six-member audience to become participants in an unfolding drama, as a voice through headphones directs their movements and actions around the Barbican foyer.
It began as an end-of-year assignment set by the drama and theatre department at Royal Holloway, University of London, and was spotted by Barbican producers after the students won funding to stage the work at the Southwark Playhouse last June.
“Our brief was to come up with a theatre company and a mission statement,” says 21-year-old Alex Turner, one of the six. “We decided to push the boundaries to explore the idea of audience responsibility and it was a shock for our examination panel when we told them to put down their notebooks, put on the headphones and follow our instructions.”
The six members of the audience, each guided by a different recorded voice, are sent on six different experiences, during which they may encounter each other or interact with strategically placed actors before they are reunited at the end. “We are posing the question: ‘Can you miss someone you’ve never met?’” says Turner…