Secondary Audiences – Case Study: Action Hero

Slap Talk – A 6 hour durational performance by Action Hero live streamed on December 5th 2015 from CULTURGEST in Lisbon.

"SLAP TALK" by Action Hero, 2015

Figure 8: Staging (Slap talk, 2015)

The Action Hero website lays out the relationship of the performers to each other and to  live audience in Lisbon as; “Speaking to each other and to the audience via a live feed from a camera to a monitor the performers rant, insult and threaten each other”. For me, looking at an image above makes more sense of this statement.

This final blog is more personal than normal as I watched the piece as a secondary audience member from my living room. I felt no need to watch the full 6 hours. I have simultaneously googled flights home for Christmas, ate dinner and I am now making these notes. Is this similar to the attention span of most secondary audience members?  There is a digital element to live stream the performance and then another live feed of  the performers facial expressions in the piece; this is too much digital for me. Too many screens within screens. I feel too detached from the performers to continuously view the piece. I do however enjoy the continuous stream of carefully crafted language. In essence this piece has become a very enjoyable absurdest radio news feed. I am considering would this be the same for a National Theatre Live piece? I doubt I would enjoy detaching the visuals from the recent stream of A Winters Tale in the same  way. The form of Slap Talk is “.. a scripted version of a pre-fight press conference crossed with a 24 hour rolling news channel”. (Slap talk, 2015)Audience expectations of this form allows for an interesting relationship with the performers; this piece effectively demonstrates how we are bombarded with news channels daily and have become desensitised to the violence of language employed by journalists, politicians and sales persons.  The exploration of this form can be seen in other devising companies, as my previous blog Audience as Witness explores with Forced Entertainment.

ASIDE: The below is a video of my multi screen while watching Slap Talk and simultaneously blogging, can you imagine a lazy London reviewer writing reflections mid performance? Also on a practical note, there is a bit of a delay in my live feed which is a common digital secondary audience grip.

Figure 9: My blogging during SLAP TALK

This is the final blog, to see the final conclusions click here.

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