Threshold Festival 2016 Performance / Exhibition at Lantern Theatre
Words and photographs by Patrick Kirk-Smith
Lantern Theatre was always going to throw something different up for Threshold Festival 2016, and opening night did not disappoint. I could probably finish this article off in the next sentence if I needed to, but it may need some context. This was the first time, and I hope not the last, that I have been given a contact email address through interpretive dance.
I promised context, so I’ll give it, but even then it might seem a little surreal. The performance work, Misinformation Desk, was functioning as a pop-up help centre for the festival, coaxing unsuspecting, and probably struggling festival patrons into asking questions. Followed by trying to upsell them an adult rain poncho. But, it’s Threshold. If you’re not expecting the unexpected, you’re in the wrong place.
Just a small part of Lantern’s involvement in Threshold as a performance venue, tying them beautifully in with Alchemy, the multi-arts strand of this eclectic festival. More on the contact email address though. Once in a while, regardless of whether or not you necessarily need to get in touch with someone, they intrigue you enough to need to be able to. So I asked for their contact details. Perhaps not the best idea given the nature of the performance. I think if I had to use the email they gave me it would be something along the lines of giftshiverfirejoke[to]welcomecoldletterbox_we
I tried it earlier. It didn’t work.
The performance, featuring Matthew Harrison-Lord, was a spectacle of the absurd, before heading down to the end of the room, to Carolyn Sinclair’s Bringing Things from the Past to the Present. A part-sculpture, part-installation, part-collage, part-wall work that interrupts the vanishing point of Lantern’s main bar room. An installation that used reclaimed or recycled materials to hint at an entrance to a history we no longer need.
The biggest success at Lantern was the fusing together of Alchemy Visual Arts and Threshold Festival, through work that blurred the boundaries between Theatre and Performance Art. Where, even though the Misinformation Desk had no obligation to stick to the Alchemy theme, the performance work presented a transformation of how we understand interaction. Or how we take every day communication for granted, and created something entertaining from the answers.