Vague Meditations and the Irresponsible Use of a Time Machine

Lower NZI, Level 1, Aotea Centre, Auckland

23/02/2012 - 23/02/2012

New Performance Festival 2012

Production Details

A chat about what it all means.Leo Gene Petersand Vaughan Slinn explore why we make performance and how it engages with the wider world. Moving from discussion to storytelling, to the creation of imaginative worlds with very simple technology, then back again. 

Go online and interact with their blog. Participate however you like, write, upload video, audio and images. Then come to the show to see how it all develops. Don’t be shy, get in touch-

A Slightly Isolated Dog Ltd is an award-winning, Wellington-based performance company. Read more »

Leo Gene Peters and his team have created a mesmerising… superbly produced and performed live theatre.” Theatreview 

Thursday 23 February:  6.30pm

DURATION:  60 minutes

VENUE: Lower NZI3, Aotea Centre




Uniquely creative piece brought to life

Review by Stephen Austin 23rd Feb 2012

(I’m sitting down to write this review with my usual evening beverage and still reading the theatricality of everything around me and the performative nature of my entire evening.  Has this work actually itself ended for me?  And how do I, as critic, fit with it?  I’m not really sure.  But I’m certainly happy to have been engaged by it.)

A Slightly Isolated Dog are a Wellington collective who create new work that is informed by audience interaction, both within the space of live performance and in the virtual world – not just online, but also within the minds of those watching.

We enter the Wintergarden and are engaged by three cheery relaxed men who guide us to our seats and welcome us into the space.  We are asked to write down “five things you most fear of not achieving before you die”.  These, we are told, are to be used as part of the performance, but we can keep them as private as we wish.  We sit and talk, puzzle and engage with other audience members and the performers about these fears and in turn open up incrementally about ourselves.

The performance proper begins as Leo Gene Peters introduces us to the ideas behind the piece that they are devising, how they sprung from earlier performances and that this is the beginning of a new project for them that will grow from here.  We’re asked to share our fears if we want to and many participate, creating an excellent trust between audience, performers and director. 

Discussion ebbs and flows for a while about the work and the intricacies of how we live and the room begins to spark with vigorous debate as we engage as a body of people and as individuals in this space. 

Peters then introduces a visualisation exercise for all to participate in…

It is here that the format shifts gear and seamlessly integrates rehearsed performance elements – a quasi-cabaret style of presentation which absolutely breaks convention in such a way that the central character in this story, Patrick, is immediately relateable and our story is his.

A little of the material almost tips over into that cliché image of the “avant garde”, some is a little too long (the speech read directly from the laptop could especially use a little trimming) and a little focus is pulled by some of the simply realised movements and lighting effects, but we are so engaged in our own world, that of the play and identifying connecting moments between the two that these faults fall away.

The work and performers are crisp, engaging and full of enough physical vigour to give us a refreshing reminder of the sacred shared space between the audience, characters, performers, writer, director.  And how malleable those roles really can be when required. 

I hope to catch up with this uniquely creative piece again when it has developed some more.  Bravo to the New Performance Festival for being the catalyst to bring a work like this to life and so vibrantly onto the local scene. 


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