People Show 124:


CCA, Glasgow

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Mary Brennan

People Show number one took to the stage in December 1966 - years before some of the speeches they deconstruct in this current production had been voiced by their original authors.

Back in 1966, nobody was doing what the People Show folk were doing - now, thanks in no small part to their radically disruptive influence, there are countless artists who choose to devise their own material, mix media and subvert the relationship between audience and performer.

You could say it is thinking outside the box. However, this collaboration between the People Show and Glasgow-based visual artist Rob Kennedy isolates its audience inside a box.

An all-white cube in CCA5, where a cluster of chairs - all pointing in different directions - puts us in the centre of the space.

We are subsequently surrounded by a cast of four delivering texts that speak of fear and threat - neither really specified, but hinting of nuclear bombs, invasions (which could just as easily be by migrants as by soldiers) and of a rising determination to defend one's territory, be that homeland or on the football pitch. Eric Cantona and Delia Smith contribute comments connected to the latter, but really in the freefall mix of (unattributed) words, what emerges is how shrewd rhetoric can kindle unease in biddable listeners - interestingly none of us has shifted our chairs to keep track of the roaming performers.

Kennedy's film footage occasionally fills one pillow, then a whole wall with images of arid landscape, barbed wire, all tinged with a post-apocalyptic note. Even so, there is an air of contrivance about Fallout that, while it might engage the intellect, does not really trouble the mind, or heart.