Review: Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. at The Space in Norwich

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwi

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwich. Photo: Quarantine. - Credit: Quarantine

Finding myself backstage at the beginning of Summer, I seized the opportunity for a chat with some of the brave volunteers who make up this exceptional cast.

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwi

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwich. Photo: Quarantine. - Credit: Quarantine

The locally based gang is 29-strong. In Quarantine's new show they have no idea what they will be doing on stage until they walk on, and a screen behind the audience's heads flashes up with their instructions.

The first performer I encountered was 90-year-old Betty. 'I'm in Summer,' she informed me, 'do you think they made a mistake?'

How to respond? After reading about the piece, I'd imagined that each season related to a time of life. Spring, I knew, was performed by pregnant women, so Summer must be, what – middle age? I was even more baffled when the next person I saw was a three-year-old. What was this really about?

Once in my seat, I found that the kindly wrought and gently performed show relied on the dramatic power of a question.

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwi

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwich. Photo: Quarantine. - Credit: Quarantine


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What are you doing with your life, does it truly reflect who you are, or has it been imposed by a sense of what you should be doing according to your age?

In the pursuit of answers and shared experience, a lab was set up where the group could test their ideas. Bright lights shone on the square space, and the consideration given to each moment was forensic.

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The opening section saw members of the group walking on individually and gazing into the audience. An intimate moment between performer and onlooker.

A party atmosphere was quick to develop and as Summer unfolded we saw a range of ages express an inspiring sense of freedom and confidence through a range of workshop techniques.

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwi

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwich. Photo: Quarantine. - Credit: Quarantine

Joy turned to dismay during a long sequence of stage fighting as moving tribute to the brutality of lives lived in fear.

Summer is the season we come to when we get to a sense our true selves.

And what about the other seasons? Pop along and see for yourself.

Eve Stebbing

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwi

NNF17. Rehearsals for Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. which is being performed at The Space in Norwich. Photo: Quarantine. - Credit: Quarantine

Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring. is at The Space, in Roundtree Way, from 2pm to 9pm today (Sunday, May 14). Tickets £25 (£20 concs).

To book, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call 01603 766400.

For more Norfolk and Norwich Festival stories click here

For a full list of Norfolk and Norwich Festival events click here

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