Revised, rewritten and re-edited version for 2011

coproduced by Kaserne, Basle, Switzerland


text: Glen Neath


concept / direction: Ant Hampton


video: Britt Hatzius


Versions in English and German. German info below.

Sur-titled versions in Spanish, Portuguese and Polish.

German translation by Karen Withun / Transfiction


Creative production by Katja Timmerberg





Following BLOKE, and some experiments in late 2002, Ant Hampton and Glen Neath created "ROMCOM". Two performers meet on stage before an audience and enact the story of a relationship. The performers, different for every performance, agree in advance to do the show, but have absolutely no idea what is expected of them; they simply turn up and put on a set of headphones through which instructions are given to them about what to say and do. It's important they haven't been told anything about the show's contents beforehand.


The two tracks - one for each performer - are started simultaneously with a video track. The video (which also contains the music for the show) doubles up as the lighting: there are no other light sources. The three separate machines (two audio, one video) then run on for 50 minutes without any human intervention; the entire stage business in ROMCOM - blackouts, titles for scenes, sound cues, music, lighting - is therefore automated, using very simple means. The structure is totally automatic and ‘closed’, thereby foregrounding the variable, human process of negotiating and carrying out the instructions.


“Fragility in Motion” - notes on Romcom by Thomas Frank - here 



___________


Nach BLOKE und einigen Experimenten schrieben Ant Hampton und Glen Neath Ende 2002 ROMCOM. Auf der Bühne treffen sich zwei Darsteller vor Publikum und zeigen die Geschichte einer Beziehung. Die beiden Darsteller sind nie dieselben, sie machen mit, ohne zu wissen, was sie erwartet – sie kommen ins Theater, gehen auf die Bühne und setzen Kopfhörer auf, über die sie Anweisungen erhalten, was sie sagen oder machen sollen. Wichtig ist, dass sie im Vorhinein nichts über den Inhalt erfahren haben.


Die beiden Tonaufnahmen – eine für jeden Darsteller – werden gleichzeitig mit einem Video gestartet. Das Video (das auch die Begleitmusik enthält) dient gleichzeitig als Beleuchtung: andere Lichtquellen gibt es nicht. Die drei Aufnahmen laufen dann über 50 Minuten ununterbrochen ab, daher ist der gesamte Bühnenablauf von ROMCOM – Blacks, Szenentitel, Toneinsätze, Musik, Licht – durch den Einsatz von ganz einfachen Mitteln völlig automatisiert. Die Struktur der Performance läuft automatisch und in sich geschlossen ab, der variable, menschliche Prozess der Verhandelns und des Ausführens von Anweisungen rückt so in den Vordergrund.


“Fragility in Motion” - notes on Romcom by Thomas Frank - here 


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Photo above shows Lars Rudolph + Caroline Peters at Plateaux festival, Germany, 2004

below:

top - Marina Belatti & Darìo Tangelson - Elkafka Teatro, Buenos Aires, 2006

middle - Sophie Okonedo and Greg McLaren at Sexy Machinery #11 Bethnal Green Working Men's Club - May 2005

bottom - Bárbara Togander & Pablo Messiez -Elkafka Teatro, Buenos Aires, 2006



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ROMCOM or, THE DISTANCE LOVE CAN BE MAINTAINED BETWEEN ANY TWO DIVERGING POINTS

‘Resembles one of Godard's 1960's movies, full of jump-cut montages between close-ups of blankeyed lovers and excursions into heavily captioned symbolism. And, as well as comedy, it's a complex study of compatibility and communication’

GLASGOW HERALD

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Premiered at the 291 Gallery, London, March 2003

with Finlay Robertson & Amber Sealey

and David Rosenberg & Gemma Brockis [shunt]

[photos here]


then:


West End Centre, Aldershot, UK,  March 2004

- with Martin Huggan & Camilla Greene

Arches theatre festival, The Arches, Glasgow, April 2004

- with Paul Blair & Alison Peebles, Ross Stenmore & Judith Williams, Neil Francis & Michaela Dunne

Garage festival, Stralsund, Germany, August 2004

- with Linde Engelhardt and Jens Bohnsack

Plateaux festival, Frankfurt, Germany, October 13-14 2004

- with Jerry Killick + Elyce Semenec ; Lars Rudolph + Caroline Peters [above]

Live Brits festival, Hebbel Am Ufer, Berlin, January 2005

- with Bastian Trost and Bettina Grahs, Tilo Werner & Sussane Sachsse

Exeter Phoenix - May 2005

- with Katie Beswick and Marcus Bartlett

Bethnal Green Working Men's Club - May 2005

- with Sophie Okonedo and Greg McLaren, as part of Sexy Machinery #11

Rotozaza Blowout At The Hackney Empire, London, July 2005

- with Sean Hughes and Hannah Ringham

Noorderzon Festival, Grönigen, Holland - August 20, 21 2005

- with Gerry van der Laan & Sarah van Steenderen; Mirjam Stolwijk & Jochem Koole

Dublin Fringe Festival, Project Arts Centre - September 29, 30 And October 1 2005

- with Lisa Lambe & Karl Shiels; Katherine O'Malley & Wolfgang Hoffmann; Ruth Negga & Tadg Murphy

Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, Zurich -January 22, 23 2006

- with Fabienne Hadorn & Martin Zimmerman; Barbara Maurer & Thomas Wodianka

Activate Performing Arts Conference, Study Gallery, Poole - March 14 2006

- with Laura Griffin & Lee Hart

Elkafka Teatro, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 23, 24, 25 2006 > (Spanish version)

- with Bárbara Togander & Pablo Messiez; Soledad Galarce & Diego Leske; Marina Belatti & Darìo Tangelson; Katrina Van Ron & Fernando Margenet; Elena Gowland & Mariano Caligaris

Shunt Vaults, Joiner Street, London, UK, January 2007

  1. -with Greg Henderson Begg & Emily Mytton; Matt Rudkin & Emma Macfarlane; Neil Edmond & Melanie Wilson

Escrita Na Paisagem, Evora, Portugal (Portuguese version)

  1. -with Dora Bernardo & Tiago Porteiro

Krakowskie Reminiscencje Teatralne, Krakow, Poland (Polish version)

  1. -with Michal Kocurek & Monika Radziwon; Marta Wardynska & Jakub Snochowski

  2. -Stoke Newington International Airport

  3. -with Bill Aitchison and Tania El Khoury


Revised, rewritten and re-edited version for 2011 > German-language premiere - October 13-15, Kaserne, Basle, Switzerland

- with Isabelle Menke & Andreas Storm (13.10.)

Susanne Abelein & Silvester von Hösslin (14.10.)

Cathrin Störmer & Matthias Breitenbach (15.10.)