Epic seven-hour spectacle explores the cycle of life via karaoke, table tennis, clairvoyance and more
- Credit: Quarantine
An epic seven-hour performance described as a quartet about the cycle of life is taking to the stage this weekend.
Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. is at The Space, in Norwich, today and tomorrow as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
It is presented by Quarantine theatre company and the Summer and Spring parts feature ordinary people from across Norfolk.
'It's an epic piece of work which looks at the human life cycle and our relationship with time throughout our lives,' said director Richard Gregory, who is based in Manchester.
'It's an extraordinary event that creates a temporary community of people of everybody there, the people in it and its audience.
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'It creates a space where we can reflect on the joys and hope of life but also to think about those moments of reality, the moments that we all experience, that might be challenging or complex. It's full of life's complexities, the ups and downs.'
He added: 'We made the first version in Manchester and the atmosphere around the event was lovely, it had a bit of a festival feel to it.'
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SUMMER - about 1.5 hours
'Thirty people in Summer, aged three to 89, focus very much on the present,' said Mr Gregory.
'The way in which summer works is that performers follow instructions on the stage and answer questions, and the instructions and questions they haven't necessarily heard before.
'We are aiming for something very live and spontaneous. It is people responding to the circumstances they find themselves in.'
He added: 'It is deliberate only to work with local people who aren't normally performers because it is important in this piece that the audience see people in front of them who could be them.'
AUTUMN - between 1.5 and 2 hours
'Autumn is a bit like an interval. We think autumn is in a way a bit of an in between time, the end of summer, beginning of winter, so autumn in our performance is like an interval,' said Mr Gregory.
'It's two hours long. There's a table full of experts in identity and you can join in their discussion, you can prepare food that's served to the audience - we are making Vietnamese summer rolls.
'You can visit a clairvoyant's table, play table tennis, discuss the history of the world from the very beginning to today, go to a silent disco.
'It's very fluid and what it does is effectively shift the relationship between the audience and the performers. In a way it helps to create a temporary community among the audience because you spend time with each other and engage with each other.'
WINTER - about 38 minutes
'Winter is a film that we did with a lady called Mandy King Holmes, Mandy was the aunt of one of our collaborators, Lisa Mattocks,' said Mr Gregory.
'Mandy had lung cancer and sadly died when she was 51. We made a film with her in the last three or four months of her life. The film really looks at Mandy looking back at her life and also how she's spending her time now she knows time is limited.'
There is a one-hour interval between Winter and Spring.
SPRING - about 1.5 hours
'The final part is created with pregnant women - three pregnant women from Norwich who are at different stages of their pregnancies and four women from Manchester who were in Spring this time last year and now all have babies,' said Mr Gregory.
'Spring imagines what the future might hold both in terms of the unborn children and the babies on stage.
'It also involves a lot of karaoke! Spring is hopeful but realistic. It doesn't shy away from challenges in life.'
Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. is at The Space, in Roundtree Way, from 2pm to 9pm today and tomorrow. Tickets £25 (£20 concs).
To book, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call 01603 766400.
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For a full list of Norfolk and Norwich Festival events click here