JOLT International Theatre Festival: A Drift in Gloucester

A Drift in Gloucester

Mammalian Diving Reflex/ Increase the Peace/ Gloucester Youth Theatre Company

To kick start the first ever JOLT International Theatre Festival, which has been in development for just over two years, Mammalian Diving Reflex, from Canada, took to the stage to present 'A Drift in Gloucester', a day to day lowdown on the events Darren O'Donnell, Sanjay Ratnan, Virginia Antonipillai, plus young people from Increase the Peace and Gloucester Youth Theatre Company, undertook in helping the residents of Gloucester with their daily lives.

After a brief introduction from the participants on stage, Sarah Blowers, the events organizer for JOLT, took to the stage to explain she wanted to get Mammalian involved in the festival from a project she saw of theirs entitled 'Haircuts by Children', which then Darren spoke about the fact Mammalian aim to discomfort their audience in order to make communication more lively.

Their main project, after finding a man from Tandoor, up Barton Street, was to build a shelter for outside his shop, though there was also many other projects they found just by talking to people on the streets, like helping a girl with her homework, and going to ASDA to help people identify products and help load, scan, and carry shopping to peoples cars.

Though there was a lot of participation from both the company and the general public, some people spoke on stage about how, at times, they felt uncomfortable going to people asking if they wanted help, with this resulting with some people dropping out of the project altogether.

They continued speaking, one by one, coming up from a sofa on stage to the four microphones upfront, how their development of the shelter was progressing, with some thinking they could never manage it, but when everyone got stuck in on the project, and parts were collected around Gloucester, that the Shelter finally got built, and even the workers at Tandoor helped with the process by breaking off wood.

There was a little bit of audience participation, through a game of Truth or Dare, until it was then time to wrap up the performance to a trip to the Tandoor, where we were shown the finished product of the Shelter. I felt that everyone on stage were really passionate and happy that they got involved with around Mammalian, because they all spoke so highly of how it was a great experience to help out the local residents, and I believe it also made the audience go away from the show to reflect and wonder if they could do something similar, just like the young people on stage spoke about their experiences that evening.


Popular Posts