You go into mind out, sit down and scratch your head. You realise that the performance is playing with your expectations of a play, and is scripted as the previous two sentences have been. You are intrigued.
Initially we, er, you, are eased into this idea. The onstage instructions are fairly simple: ‘You open a door’ says one character, as another carries out the operation. The script revels in this idea for longer than is necessary however.
This is unfortunate as at certain points in the script there was a potential for development of the idea. One scene, for example has a woman being physically abused and the perpetrator commanding her every move and response. This becomes even more interesting when someone else gets involved, and the victim is the one pulling the strings and telling the stranger to look away.
Another scene, where voyeur commands one kisser and the other kisser the voyeur, also demonstrated the unnerving power of second person interaction. The potential of these subjects – of physical abuse and sexuality – highlight the potential power of second person. It has an uneasy, psychological and intruding aspect to it.
Like the beginnings of any movement or development in art, the initial steps are necessarily tentative. As an experiment, it fulfils its goal of sketching out some potentially fruitful ideas. This aside, Mind Out could have benefitted from some slightly braver and more thoughtful writing.
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