Martinis on the Hill, directed by the Artistic Director of Reckless Sleepers Theatre Company Mole Wetherell, and Weissmuller directed by director and dramaturg Swen Steinhauser, are two highly innovative and challenging performances by students of Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Manchester Metropolitan University.
‘When you watch a film over and over again you start to notice different things. You see the cracks and the fault lines, moments in the background that suggest stories you weren’t expecting, like clues to a very different puzzle…’
Martinis on the Hill, is a highly idiosyncratic response to watching and re-watching classic horror movie The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. Dealing with ideas of control and the lack of control, with camera angles and obsessive adherence to rules, the performance offers a deconstruction of the film, and of the process of bringing film and live theatre together.
Weissmuller is a unique theatrical choreography reflecting on Battle Creek Sanitarium, the 1930’s health resort established by Seventh Day Adventist Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, and two of his most famous patients – Henry Ford and Johnny (Tarzan) Weissmuller.
Weissmuller attempts to follow some of the threads of this complicated web of associative connections. Whilst taking Tarzan (more or less) seriously as a narrative that flirts with the possibilities of rejuvenating an atrophied western culture, it also invites a critical re-examination of its problematic entanglements with the history of colonialisation, racism and sexism.