This is a page of support material for the Flying Nun program application for I Have No Enemies.
It has a number of things below:
- Reviews of Past Work
- CVs of the project artists
- A summary of the style, story, team and evolution of the work.
This page is only available to those with access to the direct web-link. Please do not distribute any of the content.
Please feel free to explore the rest of the Bare Witness website if you'd like further examples of previous work.
Chris, Brendan, Rachel and Ash.
Style, story, Team & evolution of work
"As one of the many, random side jobs that you end up doing in order to make a little extra money - or, “rent”, as I call it - I worked for a brief spell as a contractor for a transcription service..."
I Have No Enemies is an original post-dramatic play that turns an unblinking web-cam upon the science-fiction of our everyday lives.
Stylistically, we owe a debt of influence to the likes of The Encounter by Theatre de Complicité, Oh! What a Lovely War! by the Theatre Workshop, and Kill Climate Deniers by David Finnigan. The performers play versions of themselves, addressing the audience directly in a naturalistic, presentational style. All the information in the early part of the show is factual, drawing from personal experience and establishing a sense of trust and common ground with the audience. They are 'invited in' to the world of the show, the key questions are introduced and the theatrical language of the piece laid out before them: we are four actors, grappling with these issues around surveillance, data collection and digital identity, and are attempting to explore them, in a way that sits somewhere between a detective story and a social-science experiment. The conceit is in effect, a transparent re-enactment of a devising process, retaining the feel of chaos, frustration, in-fighting, and eureka moments that erupt from the rehearsal room.
As the show evolves, we move ever more fluidly between disparate narrative threads around the core themes - the attempt to track down, stalk, troll and ultimately kidnap an innocent man whose personal information has inadvertently landed in our hands; the ineffectiveness of 90s Hollywood movies to explain the internet; the all-encompassing obsession of a fictional video game, Tortoise Run, that plays on the popularity of games like Pokémon Go; and the meta-narrative of the contrasting emotional journeys of the four actor-characters as paranoia, conspiracy, and anarchy take hold. As the momentum increases, we hurtle into increasingly theatrical and fantastical territory, only for the apparent chaos to coalesce into an absurd, but unexpectedly coherent resolution: fleeing a siege of digital tortoises, the team break into a Data Centre in Fyshwick in order to free the Giant Tortoise, hack into the mainframe of the internet, and release everyone's data back into the world. Well, that's the plan, anyway...
The different voices and perspectives of the four artists have created an exhilaratingly original piece of theatre, born of a process of genuine collaboration. The method of working and the resulting style of performance calls for actors with versatility, curiosity, a social conscience, and the skill to translate dense research and personal experience into the language of theatre. Apart from their capabilities as accomplished performers, each of the artists are creators in their own right: Rachel as a writer, director & designer through her company, Ribix Productions; Brendan as an award-winning producer & director of short films; and Ash as a comedian and singer-songwriter. As the lead artist, I bring my experience as an independent theatre-maker through my company, Bare Witness, and as a member of Paris-based international ensemble Breadknives. My training as an actor at The Samuel Beckett Centre, and particularly as a theatre-maker at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, has forged an ethos in my work of the actor-as-creator, which is at the heart of this project.
I Have No Enemies began as a presentation as part of the Pitch In event for Autumn Revel at Ainslie+Gorman Arts Centres in May 2018. The initial draft of the play was workshopped in a 2-week development at Belco Arts in March 2021, culminating in an 80-minute work-in-progress showing for invited guests. As part of our research, we have consulted with Jenna Imad Harb, a PhD scholar at the School of Regulation and Global Governance, ANU, whose areas of research include surveillance, science and technology studies and social justice. Jenna has connected us with several other experts in the field whose input has informed the further development of the work, which continues as part of our weekly ensemble training/devising at Belco Arts. Dramaturgy for the project is supported by ensemble-member and experienced Canberra-based director, Rochelle Whyte.
For the full production, we hope to partner with a digital media artist who can help enhance the technological aspects of the show. This collaboration could also open up possibilities for imaginative videography and substantial online components, as the subject matter lends itself to adaptation for digital streaming.