Welcome Aboard

Centre of Contemporary Art: CoCA, Christchurch

30/11/2019 - 30/11/2019

Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival

Production Details

Welcome Aboard is a participatory audio experience where the story is the guide. The audience is part of the story and is invited on a voyage of discovery.

With no visuals to guide you, you will fill in graphic details with your mind – and this may reveal something unexpected of yourself.

This 20-minute journey experiments with unusual formats in performance. It will make you smile and make you think.


Julianne Eason


Julieanne has continuously devised and produced works which utilise multiple video projections, sensors and audio within the set design, in both site-specific and closed environments.

Kris Herbert

Kris Herbert is a storyteller. She worked as a journalist for 20 years and is now exploring location-based storytelling with digital audio. This is her first artistic collaboration.

Performance installation , Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

20 minutes

Keeping it simple made this magical

Review by Emily Mowbray-Marks 01st Dec 2019

Welcome Aboard

I sit next to one of the co-devisor’s of “Welcome Aboard” later in the evening.
We watch a VCA graduate Rebecca Jensen’s “Nowhere” a dance piece which “attempts to locate, resurface and physicalise dormant embodied waste.”
Julianne Eason and I at this moment watching the 11th hour of dance | poetry | music | theatre | performance art within Otautahi’s Tiny Performance Festival.

Earlier in the day I accompany one of twelve members of the unassuming public.
We watch.
No, we don’t watch.
We experience 

“Welcome Aboard”

devised and scripted by Kris Herbet and Eason.

Our twelve chairs are arranged in two rows.
The rows of a bus.

The ushers don us with a cellphone each plugged into a set of comfortable headphones.

We are instructed to communally push play after the count of three.
The Teacher in me muses that the bus-riders all have their headphones on already and are relying predominantly upon their power to lip-read successfully.
The dozen of us (the herd) combine lip-reading the authoritarian, with doing what the group is doing, resulting in two putting on silver survival blankets.
I start to wonder if we’re all listening to the same story, or not?
This could be interesting.
Do the listeners become the actors?

The bus ride begins.

It’s like the kiwi experience.
We’re on a trip and it’s being ‘guided’.
Our bus driver talks to us.
She is the narrator.
She is a storyteller.
Things seem everyday, a bus driver spinning standard yarns, until things are not so ordinary.

Her calm, matter of fact delivery of the time when the spot of her face burst with tiny spiders leaves me wondering whether this could happen? Like really. Something casual about this story makes me consider its plausibility.

“Welcome Aboard” makes the most of the power of simply telling a story. One doesn’t need a whole lot of grand set, costumes, lighting, actors with fanciful acts. Story in and of itself is enough. This collaboration between Herbert and Eason is twisted reality, based on exploring the urban legend. This mystery and surrealism reminds me of Gabriel Marcia Marquez “magic realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations (Wikipedia).”

Can I be greedy and ask that the cameo bus-driver be a trained actor and acknowledged?
Pardon me if he is one? I can’t find any reference to this actor on the publicity material.

I think the audience enjoyed the brevity, intimacy and privateness of the auditory nature of this piece. Perhaps an audience of children would enjoy it too. Could it be installed within an ongoing public space such as a Library, Museum or Art Gallery?

For about from discussing art as medicine, the role of feminism in performance, a sustainable (reduced waste) practice was also encouraged within this brave tiny fest, this Saturday in November.

Upcycling this auditory pre-recorded work in public spaces which allow for longevity would be delivering on this sustainable vision.


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