Performance/ Choreography

AV/ Sound/ Set Design

Direction/ Costumes

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next show  : Dance International Glasgow - 21/22 April 2017

premere of VOID/In-Situ, the site-specific version of the show - under the M74

★  ★  ★  ★

"VOID assails you, unnerves you on many levels with Forbes-Broomes unstintingly at the heart of the risk-taking"

The Herald

"VOID has never been more timely. The combined talents of this trio have created a twitchy, compelling and dark look at Ballardian themes which time and again have been proved worryingly prescient.”

Lorna Irvine, Tempohouse

*VOID is available for touring in black box theatre as well as site-specific locations,

with or without raked seating, fits in small venues and quick to setup.

Contact: info[at]void[dot]org[dot]uk

  • VOID and Concrete Island - By Pete Sach

    The stories that make up JG Ballard’s ‘Urban Disaster’ trilogy confront their readers with palpable horrors. Horrors in such close proximity to the practice of everyday life that even when penned in the 1970s they did not exist in a future yet to be realised, but in a recognisable reading of the present. Forty years later, the horrors in Crash, Concrete Island, and High Rise remain prescient, dwelling in the ordinary realm of numerous urban spaces now home to much of the world’s population. [Click for full text]

     

     

    In Concrete Island, the second book of the trilogy, Ballard’s protagonist Maitland is a wealthy architect - an esteemed designer of urban life who crafts the spatial experiences of countless citizens. After an abrupt crash on a motorway flyover, Maitland finds himself marooned on the uncontested, negative space of an embankment between the flyover’s tarmacked arteries. It is this space, marginal and overlooked by the planned city and its inhabitants, which ultimately lays siege to Maitland’s psyche.

     

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    An allegory of alienation in the urban realm, a violent telling of adapting to new environments, Concrete Island lays bare the relationship between bodies and space and how quickly that relationship can devastate the mind. We city dwellers of today give little thought to the interplay between our selves and the streets we travel, the routes we take, and perhaps more importantly, those we do not. How easy would it be for any one of us embedded in daily life as urban citizens to turn or slip from our own reading of the city’s master plan? To be forced to confront the fear and alienation we suppress daily by simply taking a different turn?

     

    When considering these realms of possibility Glasgow is privileged. In regards to UK cities, none more so than here are we able to view the stark contrast of dormant space persistently intersecting a lived urban centre. A lively, sprawling city in cahoots with desolate urban scrubland, networked by Goliath motorways and a wide, quiet waterway. Glasgow could today afford any of its inhabitants the ‘Ballard experience’. We need not look far.

     

    In Concrete Island, Ballard ficitonalised a theory popular among geographers and social scientists of the time: that what surrounds us is constructed not only by architects and designers, but also by the individual consciousness we each possess. Maitland may well have been privileged enough to design the concrete thoroughfares and barracks we traverse and inhabit, but as he learns himself in horror, it is often the unplanned contact we have with the margins of both constructed space and our selves that emancipates us.

     

     

“As we drive across a motorway intersection, through the elaborately signalled landscape that seems to anticipate every possible hazard, we glimpse triangles of waste ground screened off by a steep embankments. What would happen if, by some freak mischance, we suffered a blow-out and plunged over the guard-rail onto a forgotten island of rubble and weeds, out of sight of the surveillance cameras?

 

MODERN TECHNOLOGY OFFERS AN ENDLESS FIELD-DAY FOR ANY DEVIANT STRAINS IN OUR PERSONALITIES. MAROONED ON A TRAFFIC ISLAND, WE CAN TYRANNISE OURSELVES, TEST OUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, PERHAPS COME TO TERMS WITH ASPECTS OF OUR CHARACTERS TO WHICH WE HAVE ALWAYS CLOSED OUR EYES .”

‘J.G BALLARD, CONCRETE ISLAND INTRODUCTION [1974]