A remarkable piece of theatre all about exploring different human emotions is heading to Warrington.
Prepare to be taken on an unforgettable journey this Friday as Celebration, Florida heads to town with a theatrical experience like no other.
Featuring two unrehearsed performers who have never even met, this extraordinary work is all about playing around with the idea of surrogacy and stand-ins, of replacing the irreplaceable; of retrieving the lost.
Inspired by his own feelings of separation and loss, American writer Greg Wohead developed the piece as a result of his time away from home.
Greg said: “I created Celebration, Florida at a time when I found myself away from people and places I loved and missed. As someone who grew up in Texas but has lived in London for the past 13 years, this is a familiar feeling to me. I found myself reaching out for new connections to people and places—in some ways it was to stand in for those I was missing, and in other ways it allowed me to form new relationships and attachments.”
Intrigued by these emotions, Greg set about exploring the different ways people respond to loss through a new stage show, with the crux of his investigation portrayed through the actors on stage.
The play, which is part of this year’s extended Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, features just two actors; neither of whom know anything about the play, or eachother, until the second they step on stage.
From that point on, they are fed instructions from Greg through a set of headphones, creating a very tangible sense of separation between writer and audience.
Greg explains: “I liked the idea of these two performers who are essentially standing in for me — I am speaking to the audience through them, which for me speaks to the idea of an absent person trying to make a connection.
“Also, I like the different kind of energy that can come from using two unrehearsed performers—it creates a different relationship with the rest of the audience. It can feel like the audience is there to support them and wants them to be ok and do well, which is slightly different than usual—more supportive or open, hopefully.”
The show gets its name from a town in Florida called Celebration – a community developed by The Walt Disney Company in a bid to create the perfect, all-American Utopia.
Reflecting typical American architecture from days gone by and keeping a community-centred focus at its heart, Celebration was built to recapture the lost American dream; a replacement for an idyll that once existed; nostalgia for a bygone era.
This sense of longing is at the core of both the town and the play, and is an emotion felt by everyone at some point in their life; whether it is a child whose lost their favourite toy, a longing for home, or losing someone you love.
Hailed by critics and audiences the world over, Celebration, Florida has enjoyed a resounding success and Greg is delighted to bring his show to Warrington’s Pyramid this Friday.
Greg said: “I am so pleased with how it’s been received! There have been a range of responses because there are any number of ways to approach watching the show—some people connect with the humour that comes from the performers who don’t know anything about the show beforehand, some people connect emotionally with the idea of missing a person or place.”
Celebration, Florida is on at Pyramid on Friday July 13 at 8pm. Tickets are £10 and available at www.pyramidparrhall.com, or by calling our Box Office on 01925 442345.