Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Fire Burns and Burns

The Arches, Glasgow
3 stars
For The Fire Burns and Burns, Arches Live veterans Peter McMaster and
Nic Green pool resources for an intimate experiential work in which an
audience of eight are asked to disrobe psychologically and emotionally
as much as physically. After introductions while sat on chairs in a
circle, we move through to a room where a sauna-like teepee awaits us.
Inside, we speak in turn about what fires us.

While it would be quite wrong to reveal what was said over the next
forty-five minutes, it's safe to say that there were elements here of
confessional, co-counselling and the last night of summer camp.
McMaster and Green have adopted the sort of 1960s-sired techniques
which, in the wrong hands, can be left open to ridicule, abuse or both.
Yet proceedings are orchestrated with such tenderness and care that
it's easy to go willingly into a set-up which many might ordinarily
find uncomfortable.

For this old hippy, more of a build-up, and indeed a come-down, is
required for full immersion in the experience. Yet the fact that a tent
full of naked strangers can feel safe enough to unburden themselves speaks
volumes of an untapped need for what is essentially a secular ritual of
purging and possible healing. Theatre at it's most primal, in other
words.

The Herald, September 23 2011

ends

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