Interview: Heading Indoors: Requardt and Rosenberg bring new work to The Place

Thursday 7 September 2017

We grab five minutes with experimental theatre director duo Frauke Requardt and David Rosenberg. The pair are known for creating outdoor spectacular works. We ask them about their first ever indoor show Deadclub™ opening next week.

In one sentence tell us about Deadclub:

It’s an absurd arena in which we try and fail to remember something that is yet to happen.

This is your fourth project together, why do you think you guys work so well together? How did you meet?

We met through a conversation between Kate McGrath (Fuel) and Emma Gladstone (Dance Umbrella) when she was working at Sadler’s Wells. A kind of blind date in which the unexpected outcome was…a three storey Bauhaus hotel built from shipping containers that toured around the UK. At the heart of any productive collaboration is shared interest and intersecting tastes.

We both enjoy making work that sits uncomfortably between narrative and the absurd. For DeadClub™ we have been working closely with the team at The Place who commissioned the project and who are co-producing it with Fuel.

What inspired you to make the piece?

We have been interested in existential psychology and how to find meaning in the overwhelming chaos that knocks on our doors unannounced. We necessarily try to find patterns in the noise; some of which are achingly beautiful and others taste like chicken.

What is it that interests you about the unreliability of memory and the psychology of how individuals respond to unexpected situations?

We were fascinated by the work of Elizabeth Loftus whose practice included implanting false childhood memories in her students and discrediting eyewitness accounts in the courtroom. We are in a world where it is increasingly difficult to know what to believe and even our own memories cannot be depended on.


(Featuring Londoner Jordan Ajadi who trained at London Contemporary Dance School.)

What do you hope people will take away from watching your show?

That our lives are strange and we are strange and it’s probably okay. All that terrible shit hasn’t happened yet and there is a chance, however small, that it won’t.

What it’s been like switching from working outdoors to something up close and personal in a theatre space?

When we opened Motor Show in Brighton festival (2012) it was 8 degrees – in May! – the wasteland we were performing in had flooded and the local kids jumped the fence to joyride our cars. We expect that these things won’t happen at The Place.

Can you reveal one secret of the show (for the people who have made it this far inthe interview)?

No – you think you want to know secrets but they only lead to lies, blackmail and infidelity.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It will be loud and everyone has to stand. Nobody will be asked to do anything but you might feel exposed.

Deadclub™ is at The Place from 12 – 30 Sep. The show contains full nudity. Age recommendation 16+.

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