This article is featured in Issue 02 of Taibh.
written by Áine O’Hara
On Friday November 25th I ended up at Random Screams What you need to know, by chance.
I knew little of the company or the show before entering the theatre. We are presented with a bare stage. Four people enter, three of them are carrying guns. They leave them on a table stage right. The charismatic Davis Freeman introduces himself along with three dancers. He immediately addresses our fears, telling us the the world right now is kinda terrifying. We are thinking of Paris, of the shootings in Paris and he tells us that one of these guns, an AK47 is what was used in the recent terrorist attack in Paris. They reference numerous terrorist attacks. They speak honestly about their fears and tell us that they are going to show us how to use these guns.
“What we teach you right now, could save your life.”
Davis falls into the role of teacher as the dancers respond to his presentation.
“This gun is an exact replica of the gun used in the Columbine shooting.”
He tells us about a brave student in Columbine who picked up a discarded gun and tried to shoot it at one of the attackers but because the safety was on, nothing happened and the student was shot.
He shows us how to take the safety off.
Davis then shows us a pistol and invites audience members down to try to shoot one of the dancers with the pistol (with a theatre blank). The dancers are shot one by one and each die a dramatic death.
What you need to know is an honest, compelling .and unfortunately necessary show in todays world.
For more information on what to do if you find yourself in a situation like the ones described in the show can be found here:
What you need to know and 7 promises were presented as part of One Time Season, a celebration of contemporary theatre featuring works by Pan Pan and the greatest hits of American/Belgian group Random Scream.
One Time Season was presented as part of Project 50, a season of work celebrating 50 years of Project Arts Centre.
Davis Freeman created the company Random Scream in 1999 to expose the eclectic elements of everyday culture with proposed lines of flight for dance, theatre, and visual arts. Originally created with the artist Lilia Mestre, Random Scream is now run by Freeman and his ever evolving mix of collaborators. The projects aim to draw attention to what is already there by focusing on our personal interactions and how our choices directly affect each other and the community we live in. Freeman is an American performing artist based in Brussels and has worked with Forced Entertainment, Meg Stuart and Superamas.
I loved What you need to know so much that I got a ticket to their second show of the night 7 Promises. The performance features two ecological preachers calling their audience to turn their words into action. They propose 7 promises for us to take in order to create a more sustainable world. With each promise you receive a free shot of vodka (absolut – no off brand stuff). We sign a pledge and make a promise. Though we are free to lie, no one is going to make sure that we follow through. Again, Davis approaches his work in a unique way. 7 Promises is a clever use of the medium. It is at once both humorous and hard hitting.
The promises range from ‘I will remain silent for an entire day of my choosing next week’ to ‘I promise to have no (more) children for the rest of my life’.
I made 5 promises and took 5 shots of vodka.
I only kept one of the promises.