MARK PRITCHARD // DRAMATURG & THEATRE-MAKER
an interactive work by NO SHOW
An interactive performance experience investigating the phenomenon of contemporary marriage by engaging audiences in the fabrication of wedding. Approaching this ancient cultural institution as if we’ve just invented it ourselves, and using guests as guinea pigs for the experiment, Shotgun Wedding exposes the mythologies, superstitions and meanings that the wedding ritual represents.
It's like no wedding you’ve ever been to, but speaks to every wedding you’ll ever go to. A man and a woman are quickly frocked up and led down the aisle, with the audience cast as their soon-to-be merged families. Melding Corinthians, Shaniah and The Little Mermaid, the ceremony evokes the bare bones of a contemporary union that walks the delicate line between satire and sacrament. Then, in a bare hall, the audience creates and enacts the wedding reception from scratch.
‘Shotgun Wedding’ unravels as a desperate celebration of the contested idea of marriage, with ancient rituals jammed up against contemporary practices. The entire audience become performers, navigating through action the meanings and falsehoods of this politically contentious act. ‘Shotgun Wedding’ investigates the marriage rite as a container of cultural meaning, and asks us to consider how and why we celebrate it.
Created by NO SHOW (Mark Pritchard + Bridget Balodis)
With Dan Giovannoni, Zoë Rouse, and the ensemble:
Tom Dent, Naomi Rakuvina, Zoey Dawson, Anna McCarthy, Laura Maitland, Matt Furlani, John Shearman, Nathan Troisi, Matt Adey, Mattea Davies, Jake Preval, Emma Dockery, Zoe Boeson, Nyah Seelig, Alex Duncan, James Deeth, Carolyn Butler, Marcus McKenzie and David Heinrich.
Designer: Zoë Rouse
Stage Manager: Helen Lainsbury
Production Manager: Amy Bagshaw
Producer: Dean Drieberg
Premiered at St Peters East Melbourne for Next Wave Festival (2012)
“utterly involving, a testament to the power of the marriage ceremony.”
– Cameron Woodhead, The Age
“provocative, topical, induces thought, and, above all, the most fun I’ve had in a church. Ever.”
– Eugyeene Teh, Promptside Blog
“Delivered without irony or discontent, and more to the point, as a celebration, the work quite cleverly and acutely manages to question the place of marriage and the wedding ceremony within our society—archaic regulations in vows contrasted with the high level of excitement.”
– Jane Howard, RealTime Arts
“the power of the ritual remained, partly because its familiarity was here sharpened into something less familiar, partly because it was something that the audience had, quite literally, created itself … And it was enormous fun.”
– Alison Croggin, Theatre Notes
This project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, the Besen Family Foundation and Next Wave.