Team MESS have devised a new participatory performance work that caters for both, and invite audiences to play the game and create the narrative of a television crime drama in their own neighbourhood.
Over the course of a short residency, Team MESS work with a local presenter, and their audience or community members, to shoot an imaginary new television crime drama. In pre-production, five scenes are shot on location, with up to twenty or so takes per day made with individual participants or groups, each recording their take on one of five iconic crime show scenes.
Audiences are invited to don a jacket, a badge, a gun and a holster – to play their part in creating the show’s narrative, mess with genre fiction formulae & cliches, or just have a great time playing cops and robbers. Be the person who discovers the body! Stake out a suspect’s house, watching through the windscreen over coffee and donuts! Brief the police team on the evidence! And arrest the suspect, when he shows up at the funeral! Or stay behind the camera, and film it all taking place.
Following the shoots, the public performance season takes the form of a Warner Brothers style back-lot-tour to watch the hilarious footage, uncover the magic and machinations of the filming process, and to piece together the puzzle.
Team MESS is the collaborative output of a group of four young artists – Dara, Frank, Natalie, and Malcolm – who work across the performing and visual arts. As a collective we use the conventions, rituals and spectacles of popular culture and everyday life to stage theatre events that close the critical distance between the work and the viewer and open up a shared space of experience, exchange and possibility. We then use this space to explore contemporary modes of narrative production and audience agency.
Our work together includes: BINGO Unit, a television crime drama shot with members of the general public; This Is It, a performed press-conference for a non existent new film; I Think I Can Dance, a Cartesian choreography dance competition; Killing Don: Evolution of a Memory, a party in celebration and lamentation of memory and nostalgia;You and Me and a Very Large Bottle, a game of spin the bottle to fill a void in a young woman’s life.