The Cutting Room puts the ‘play’ in Playhouse

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Nottingham Playhouse welcomes Play, 2012’s final exhibition by The Cutting Room and inspired by the annual pantomime. We caught up with The Cutting Room to ask all about the latest exhibition, and uncover their attempts to make us laugh out loud. 

What can audiences expect to find when they visit Play?
For the third and final exhibition for this year The Cutting Room are presenting Play. Play brings together a selection of artists who use humour within their work. Inspired by the annual pantomime at Nottingham Playhouse, which is filled with slapstick, jokes and witticisms, Play begins to explore the invisible boundaries that form our sense of humour and interrupts our reality to leave us in fits of laughter.

The exhibition showcases  “MWAHAHA…” a new commission by local artists Thomas Hall and Graham Elstone. Inspired by all the ‘baddies’ that are up to no good, Hall and Elstone take a humorous look at the darker side of laughter in this interactive installation. Audiences are invited to become the evil megalomaniac of the universe (well, around and about Nottingham Playhouse).

So get ready to don your imposing cape, take your rightful place on your throne and scream “MWAHAHA…” before unleashing your most vile arsenal on your unsuspecting subjects and empire!

Audiences can also lounge back and discover their own laughter boundaries while enjoying a collection of over 10 artists films that explore a multitude of humorous methods in a TV wall and TV Towers situated on the top floor of the Playhouse. Films include the works by The Yes Men [Pictured], Tiffany Shlain, Daniels, Bruce Asbestos, Yehonatan Richter, David De Rooij & Jelle Brunt, Tahnee Gehm, Kevin D.A. Kurytnik & Carol Beecher.

Will there be much audience interaction with the exhibition?
Local artists Tom Hall and Graham Elstone have been granted the new commission for the final exhibition of year. On the top floor of the Nottingham Playhouse they will display an evil throne,  presented high on a platform awaiting for  viewers to put on the masterful cape and sit upon the red cushion and reveal their evil streak!

Before them  viewers will see a magical mirror that allows them to look out onto the world of the Nottingham Playhouse. At the touch of a red button viewers can transform their unsuspecting subjects on the screen by the touch of the zapping button into slimy toads, gibbering monkeys or even a gnome. With a number of scenarios and a number of equally evil out-comes. The participant can exact as much evil as they like before handing over to the next purveyor of evil.

Will Play complement the experience of seeing the pantomime at Nottingham Playhouse?
The exhibition is a fantastic compliment to the Nottingham Playhouse’s pantomime. The exhibition will mainly be hosted on the top floor to engage and entertain all audiences, so make sure you check it out in the interval or before the show starts.

Play sounds quite playful – is it something children can engage with?
Play has been curated specifically for children, but also the child that is hidden within us all. Step out of yourself with Mwahaha… and reveal your wicked streak.

Humour defies analysis, what makes one person laugh will make another stay straight faced. Come discover your own laughter boundaries as there is something for everyone.

From animation, slapstick, documentary and film, featuring The Yes Men, on our new TV Wall, to gonzo political activists who pose as top executives of giant corporations, and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks. Armed with little more than cheap thrift-store suits, the Yes Men infiltrate the halls of power and turn corporate greed into raucous comedy.

Yehonatan Richter explores the thin boundary between laughter and authority in A Gangsters Nightmare when a slapstick tale turns into a bad dream.

Tiffany Shlain gives Allen Ginsberg’s landmark poem “Howl” gets a 21st century makeover in Yelp (With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”). A highly amusing short, narrated by (or ranting by) Peter Coyote who shouts to the world–“unplug, unplug, unplug and revisit the present tense”.

Will the artists succeed in making you giggle?

Will you be going to see the Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood pantomime?
Of course, Christmas isn’t quite complete without the annual trip to see the pantomime. My tickets are already booked, are yours?

Do you have a favourite Pantomime?
It’s a tricky one as I have of lot favourites but if I am pushed I would have to say that Sleeping Beauty has been my favourite to date. Although I have never seen Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood before so watch this space as I am sure it will probably be changing very soon. I was privileged last week to get a little sneaky peak of one of the sketches in rehearsal and it was in a word magical!

Posted on 07 December 2012
Featured author: melissa.gueneau

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