Saturday, 8 September 2012

You Once Said Yes, The Lowry (and elsewhere!) 8/9/12

As someone who quite likes the anonymity provided by a darkened theatre auditorium, I did find myself before this show wondering why exactly I had signed up to take part in a show where you are the only audience member for your time slot, and you are required to engage with events as they unfold. 

You Once said Yes, by Look Left Look Right theatre company , has had previous successful runs at both Edinburgh and Camden, and has now been adapted for Salford as part of the In On The Act festival. Previous participants have, in the main, been very good about not revealing details regarding the experience, so it was with some level of trepidation our merry band of adventurers waited in the Lowry’s foyer to be called forward one by one to start our experience.

After briefly handing over our belongings and being wished well, we were sent on our way, and had a series of ‘random’, but cleverly organised encounters, in various settings around the Quays across the next hour and a half. As far as detail as to what those encounters consisted of, that’s all you are getting, as having experienced it, part of the magic of the event is not knowing what happens next (although I will say you develop a healthy suspicion for innocent members of the public carrying mobile phones.)

However, what I can tell you is how the experience was for me. I think my biggest fear before the show started was the ‘what if’ factor, especially if there was any chance of being humiliated in public. But from the start this is just a lovely, fascinating and unique experience. It’s actually quite touching at times as you share a glimpse of other’s lives, and there is a great deal of humour built in to the story as well. In fact I think I smiled all the way round. 

Looking back on the encounters, it does make you think about how you interact with strangers on a day to day basis, and the stories of those you just walk by. And your journey is rounded off by a simply lovely finale that turns the focus of the experience back on you. 

A cleverly constructed, original and really quite touching piece of ‘theatre’ in its broadest sense, I was so glad I had the courage to say Yes. It is on until 16th September, and if you can get a ticket I would encourage you to say Yes too.

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