Recall is a part of BE festival’s online programme of theatrical events responding to the unprecedented times we are living in. Exploring the festival’s theme of memory, Recall brings our own memories to life through an interactive 15-minute theatrical experience, which reminds us that, even in a time of confinement, we are not alone.
Created by Francesc Serra Vila and conducted over Zoom, this is an immersive theatre piece like nothing I have experienced before. Recall is a completely interactive and personal one on one performance that does not just immerse you in the action; you become the action. Your testimony and interaction prompts the very dialogue of the performance, making each show unique and placing the audience truly in the role of performer.
This is not a show that you can simply watch unfold around you, you have to interact or there will be no performance to watch. It is simple, you answer the questions asked to you. However, while these questions are simplistic, as your answers are written down and spoken back to you in various orders you begin to consider your past and future in new ways. As the work comes to a close, you see your answers mixed with those of a stranger’s, showing that even in times of great hardship, we are not alone and not as different as we might think.
This personal performance is accompanied by striking live visuals, created ingeniously from household items, that create a clinical tiled room where your answers are written down live and stored. While this did remind me of something from Orwell’s 1984, it was also intriguing to see your words written down and placed in a new space. Serra Vila’s use of camera placement, recorded sounds and mirrors really gave the piece some lovely screen images, and fully immersed you into this intense and individual experience.
While I enjoyed this performance and relished in its difference from anything else, I had experienced, due to the high level of dialogue between audience and theatre maker, I don’t think it’s for everyone. It is the works highly personal, intense and interactive nature that makes it so distinct, but could also be intimidating to your average theatre goer.
If you love watching theatre sat back on the sofa with your improvised interval drinks, this is not the piece for you, but if you are looking for something exciting and completely immersive to experience alone, sign up for a performance of Recall. This is not theatre for the faint-hearted, but it is providing a performance that provokes you, connects you and shows you how new forms of theatre can thrive, even in lockdown.
Recall is playing online until 16/05/2020 For more information and tickets, see http://befestival.org/events/recall/