Samara Hersch. Secret Location. 11 Mar 2022
This is an interactive and immersive theatre that can challenge you to the core, if you want. Pretty much as described in the program, you are invited to a one-on-one with an older perfect stranger via computer. Your conversation is structured by alternatively asking each other questions that appear from a digitised card draw. You don’t have to answer the questions. But if not, a question you might want to investigate with yourself if you wimp out is why not.
There are several parts to your 40-minute show but 30 minutes are devoted to question time. After an introduction via headphones of eight-to-eleven-year-olds answering questions about ageing, you are ushered down a dark corridor and confronted with the picture of you that you submitted beforehand and your elderly interlocutor stranger. I thought the questions asking me to articulate events or outlooks deserved my attention, and if not now, when? I was intrigued by my internet companion’s answers and each answer begat more questions. You can ask them, or stick to the format, or do whatever you like, you paid for the 30 minutes Q&A. It was like a session with a psychologist with the meter ticking. And what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Creator Samara Hersch might be “based” in Melbourne, but she has been funded in Europe for a huge body of work that explores “the intersection of contemporary performance and community engagement.” Sex and Death… began life as an intimate encounter led by performers in their seventies and has been adapted to its current format thanks to Covid.
I came out of my session, refreshed, calmer, wiser through some thoughtful articulation about myself and from the ancient art of listening. A wonderfully intimate and fear-free experience.
When: 9 to 20 Mar
Where: Secret Location