INTERVIEW: COMMUNITY @ THE HOUSE OF BLAH BLAH | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The social and sexual culture of LGBT society has been followed and documented in many forms of popular media. From the closeted cruising days of the 60’s to the more recent rainbow flag-waving days of gay pride and unity, the changing course of LGBT history has been documented in film, literature and on the stage.

But where does the LGBT community stand now? Scott Davies, a local writer, director and actor, invites us to find out and intends to raise many interesting questions in the process. “The play is really challenging what it means to be LGBT now and primarily what promiscuity culture and sex app dependency has done to us. It’s simply told through the voices of six outcasts screaming out for a face amongst this faceless crowd; tending to the overgrown garden now rife with sex, drugs, faceless fucking and party culture.”

Described as a ‘site-specific LGBT play’, Community brings us slap-bang into modern day LGBT culture and focuses on the potentially unstable foundations on which this community now stands.

Rocked by an unhealthy relationship with promiscuity culture and over dependence on hook-up apps in the digital age, Davies’ narrative poses the question: is the LGBT community even a community anymore?

Davies is inspired by his own experiences and the countless conversations he has had with people whose lives have been warped by an unspoken addiction to sex-apps and the resulting disconnect of intimacy they are left with. Via unconventional methods of staging and performance, he attempts to follow the cycle of despair that is created by screen-to-screen affection, digging deep into the psyche of our digital generation, aiming for a cathartic release from our unhealthy relationship dependencies.

Davies is keen to push theatrical boundaries with the play. “This production promises to be a fully site specific and immersive piece in which, from the second the audience enter the doors when they get their tickets, they are immersed in this broken dystopian world. Expect a lot of artifacts of a once unified community, intriguing lighting, a lot of sound effects and peculiar things to interact with.”

Overall he wants his audience to find themselves in his work whilst challenging our perceptions of how far theatre should go to achieve this. “One of our parts depicts a trans-fluid marine battling with PTSD.” Davies explains. “Our ensemble act as our characters anxieties and fears and we really test the limits of where we can go with that, it’s pretty harrowing to watch. There will be a lot of loud bangs pushing them to absolute breaking point. It promises to be a challenging piece for a lot of people to sit through.”

Community is a word that gets thrown around with ease when it comes to those who identify as LGBT, and it’s refreshing to engage with something that de-stabilises this idea in an original and thought provoking way.

Community runs at The House of Blah Blah, Middleborough from Thursday 21st-Friday 22nd April.

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