14th January 2015
Writing: Robert Hough (Year 13)
HUMAN.CON is an exploration into the human mind, and an extreme glance at what can make up the different stages of our lives. With the concept of guilt woven deep within the many alternate concealed storylines, the four A2 Theatre students strived to devise a thought-provoking and unconventional piece of theatre.
Having read Mountain Language, a short play by Harold Pinter, as our stimulus, we constructed various workshop environments, resulting in a collection of themes and motifs, including guilt, loss, longing, revolution, oppression, neglect and above all, sanity. From these, we were able to develop a series of different scenes, each based on a different theme, which we then entwined around a collection of possible storylines. It is possible to follow a non-chronological narrative for a character, where all other actors are playing multiple characters, but each of their individual storylines cannot overlap; adding to the isolating atmosphere of the piece.
One overarching idea that grew was the exploration of sanity, and so we researched different historical medical 'treatments' for sanity - including trepanning and bruising to the brain, electro-convulsive therapy, sleep deprivation and asphyxiation - as a basis for our characterisation.
We immersed the audience within the piece by dressing their presence as a test group participation experiment, meaning that not only were the symptoms of the characters on stage being explored by the cold and boundary-breaking laboratory technicians, but so were the emotional responses of the audience.