Photo Credit: David Culleton
A five-act street theatre performance devised at the Mintfest International Summer School for Street Arts, under the direction of Brian Popay of Fine Artistes (and formerly of The Natural Theatre Company). The Delegates use costume, characterisation, scripted and improvised dialogue to blur the boundaries between the state and a counter-public. A Flâneurial, or walkabout show, The Delegates have performed to urban street festival audiences. Led by ‘the Director for Environmental Health’, the Delegates, in their bland grey suits, use physical gesture and rehearsed choreography to mimic official dignitaries on an official guided tour of the festival. In the first two acts they focus on the bureaucratic duties of the State, to engage with, inform and forewarn members of the public about an approaching swarm of mutating insects. By the end of the fifth act, their physical behaviour morphs from a local authority led group of scientists to an overtly militaristic presence, seeking to frantically capture and contain the mutant insects and keep the public safe from infection. However threatening their demeanour might be, their feeble weaponry ultimately undermines their authority and efficacy.In a street theatre context, The Delegates became a counter-public act. Their grey oppositionality to the colourful and flamboyant co-programmed artists acts as a double bluff to the beguiling absurdities they portray as absolute truth. The civic responsibilities and role of the State are parodied, caricatured and subverted.
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