atmospheric image of outdoor performance

Quiet Carnival, image by James Gillies

Between lockdown’s, on August Bank Holiday weekend, we hosted Quiet Carnival at the Edge.  Over a long day we ran four, hour and a half shows which included visual art, performance and music elements, with a team of around 20 artists and performers with small live audiences of 25 people at a time.  The performance was also live-streamed online as part of Culture Central’s Ritual Weekender event, which saw many of the city’s arts organisations posting online content throughout the day and gained almost 1500 views.

Some of the highlights included:

Ben Jones opening proceedings by walking in fully visored-up singing blues tune ‘It Takes a Worried Man’

Musician Germa Adan getting the audience humming together – as we weren’t allowed to sing

Bethany Kay performing her ‘Canals’ poetry and music cycle

The Insecurity Team keeping everyone safe and performing physical theatre, slapstick style

Tyrone Huggins performing his Security Guard show in response to BLM

Sarah Ka performing her piece ‘I’m Not a Prisoner’ behind the bars of the gate

Sandra Hall’s performance ‘Can You Feel Me Through My Hazmat’, accompanied by Atsuko Kamura performing a Japanese version of ‘I Will Survive’

The finale saw Sarah Ka reappear in a full, feathered carnival costume, to walk slowly through the audience to the strains of a slowed-down version of Sylvester’s disco classic ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’ and to reappear on the roof of the building, phoenix-style.

It was a very emotional experience for the audience and artists, and for many the only time throughout the year where they got to perform or watch something live.  We worked really hard to make everyone safe, with socially-distanced ‘stations’ placed around the yard for the audience and everyone temperature checked, given their own sanitiser and with the Insecurity Team enforcing social distancing.

Other artists appearing or contributing included musician Natalie Mason, who also made an ambient soundtrack of recordings made during lockdown, Odmansbox performing music on stage, Seb Hau-Walker with an interactive psychogeographical exploration experiment, Claire Whitcomb’s installation using images of litter from lockdown, Georgia Chapmans postcards with slogans over her clown image, Sandra Hall and Tyrone Huggins’ video installation ‘Unmute’ featuring poetry written on masks in response to lockdown, Redhawk Logistica’s ‘Escape’ balloon installation and Robyn Woolston’s banner installation ‘Straining Every Sinew‘.

image of painting of girl with clown makeup over face mask

                             ‘Clown’ by Georgia ‘Chaps’ Chapman