Nicola Gunn’s theatre is tantalising, entertaining, ridiculous and often bewildering in the best possible way.
Piece For Person and Ghetto Blaster is the story of a man, a woman and a duck. It dissects the excruciating realms of human behaviour by calling into question our capacity to make moral judgements and relate to others in an ethical way.
The work is disarmingly simple – exploring in great depth the moral conundrum of what should one do if one comes across a person throwing stones at a duck – but gradually becomes mind-bogglingly complex. Threaded between observations and memories of this brief encounter with a stranger are philosophical musings about peace and conflict, moral relativism, the ethics of intervention and the very function of art. Each new complication is layered into the mix until the ability to maintain different ethical and conceptual paradigms within one’s mind at the same time exhausts itself.
Accompanying the text is a rhythmic sound composition and an unpredictable choreography that shifts from the unnecessary and incongruous to the strangely affecting. The effect is of a mental rhythm playing onto and against a highly impulsive conflation of physical rhythms. Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster slips across tempos, ideas and performance modes – from movement to dance to performance art and back again – to create something inescapably unique. The culmination of these multiple layers is a work in perpetual motion, full of wit, provocation and reflection.