Wild Life

Wild Life

Platform, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

Hey! Hey! Everyone is running and jumping, children and adults alike - as if the Platform studio was their playground. We are sitting in a circle round them, a part of the game-plan that Sarah Hopfinger has initiated with the group, because Wild Life is a far-reaching reminder of who we are, and where we come from in time and landscape.

Hopfinger's gung-ho wild bunch is a mix of ages and performance experience: two children, a teenager, five adults (including two men of mature years) who plunge wholeheartedly into what it means to be "wild".

There are animalistic lumberings, hints of pack behaviour - like childhood "Simon says" capers - alongside the beginnings of tribal rituals. Is the hefting of large stones a test of stamina, or the start of henges past? If a cross-generational community emerges through the mischief and collaboration of games-play, individual "wild" selves can, and do, surface, never more joyously than when Geraldine Heaney cuts loose and dances. The groove is pure 21st century, the energy and exhilaration is timeless.

Gradually, as significant elements - stone, water, fire - come into play, simple tasks take on complex meanings and the "archaeology" of Wild Life jigsaws into images of how our roaming ancestors settled into hearth-land ways.

An outburst of mutual drenchings now feels like the anarchic predecessor of ancient mid-winter rites. Soaking, the group clusters in the stone circle that has become home, the flaring light of their short-lived matches vanishing into the darkness of history. When a clatter of skimming stones clutter that circle into anonymity, you realise how easy it is to walk past, without noticing, the traces of humanity in the wild.