Artistic Directors' Note
“The narrative function is losing its functors, its great hero, its great dangers, its great voyages, its great goal. It is being dispersed in clouds of narrative language[...] Where, after the metanarratives, can legitimacy reside?” - Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition
We have constructed the world of Lost Shoreline from petits récits; localized rather than grand narratives. Taking such a poststructuralist approach to theatre doesn’t mean that we have to reject the use of text or stories, but rather that the theatrical form itself must adapt to hold a multiplicity of meaning. The stories become separate pieces of a puzzle, which cannot individually explain everything,
It is difficult to define the show in terms of genre, and it would be a bit pretentious to make up a new genre name for our own work. It’s inspired by ideas from site-specific theatre, auto-theatre, immersive theatre, promenade theatre, and various artists of walking interventions that are not even necessarily ‘theatre’ in an easily recognisable sense. There are some important precedents for elements of the piece; Punchdrunk, with a free audience following performers in a defined space; Rimini Protokol who use technology to address the audience directly via headphones, while placing them in the real world. At the same time, we are trying to create something entirely new, which doesn’t conform to conventional expectations of drama, or the roles of audience and performer.
The performer in this piece is more like a photographer: someone who frames reality and guides the eye of the viewer to see the world from a new perspective. Their story is not only about them, but a lens through which to see ourselves in the context of this place and its history.
The app gives the audience control over how they experience the show, and the act of walking in the city becomes a process of choice. It might be impossible for one person to experience every part of the show and construct the whole picture on their own, but perhaps by communicating our different experiences of the world to one another, we can arrive at a shared understanding of it. The experience is not intended to be one-way communication from artist to audience, but to create a dialogue between different people and with the world around them.
Finally, we would like to thank our team and friends for their efforts, hard work and patience; it is a privilege to have their help and willingness to try new things with us. We would also like to thank other organisations, especially Kubrick and Yes Inn, for their understanding and support for us in our pursuit of making art in unconventional spaces. This show is just a starting point for this app and this form, and Rooftop will keep on striving to explore the possibilities they open up.