We Missed You is the title of Julia Masli, Viggo Venn and Valeria Burmistrova’s online performance that is being shown as part of Voila! Festival. And how true it is. We did miss you, theatre. The Estonian, Norwegian, Russian and British collaboration was meant to be a number of publicity stunts with invited and un-invited audience. The first national lockdown prevented that from happening as it was, and so the two actors took it onto themselves to entertain the nation – or better: passengers and by-passers.
In some of London’s most iconic places, Masli and Venn put on mini-performances for the public (or whoever was out and about during lockdown), inspired by the Italian performance style Commedia Dell’arte. As Harlequin and Pierrot, they ventured out on to the streets to play pirates, macho men, a tomato, and even the masters of the Portal of Dance.
All these public performances were captured on recording and Masli and Venn chose to cut it together into one enthralling performance, to be viewed online by anybody who had missed out. We Missed You delivers what we all need these days: a show that absolutely indulges in the love for audience and entertainment.
The show is a mix of recorded material and live interaction with the audience in front of Zoom’s famous green screen backgrounds and this medium keeps delivering. From a life-sized-tomato chase around Brixton, taking over a traffic island to be their pirate ship, turning a dumpster into a circus cage, and transforming a fountain into a carousel. This piece is pure joy, and the performers excitement and passion are incredibly contagious.
As a Zoom performance they and I get to see the audiences’ reaction, but this is taken one step further by pinning audience members faces to the screen when they appreciate their reaction. This seems a bit bewildering at first but leads to great fun during a dance party together at the end of the show– unfortunately not in the Portal of Dance but in front of our computer screens.
We Missed You makes me wish that I had been out on the streets of London during the lockdown, stumbling across the two performers that visibly put a smile on those peoples’ faces who were lucky enough to see them. The show is light-hearted and witty and can only be described as an absolute blast. It does exactly what it promises – “transforming public spaces into magical spaces” because they missed us.
We Missed You played as part of Voila! Festival until 15 November 2020. For more information and tickets visit Voila! Festival’s Website.