The Making Of Us

The Making Of Us


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Fact, fiction, performance, theatre, film and art swirl together in The Making Of Us - a recording of an installation piece that was commissioned by the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. The audience at Glasgow's Tramway theatre were asked to sign disclaimers allowing them to be filmed. They were then invited to "feel free to move around the space and the various film sets constructed within it" by creators Graham Eatough and Graham Fagen as the action plays out, with the result that they become extras in the 'making of' experience as we watch both 'on film' and 'behind the scenes' action concerning protagonist Jonathan (Ali Craig) knowing it is all just a theatrical construction and yet still drawn fully into it.

Jonathan, it seems, has been plucked from the audience on the whim of the director (Played by Eatough himself). "Tell them you'll do anything," Jonathan is told. By the end of the performance, he will have done just about everything, certainly in terms of emotion, as he runs the gamut from eagerness through betrayal and retribution to despair.

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Jonathan is also instructed to "be yourself" and while we know that this is an actor in front of us, going through his script, he also becomes something of an Everyman - as though any one of us could have been sucked into this reality television style absurdist nightmare. Although doubtless more visceral and immediate for the original theatre audience, something is gained as well as lost by watching the filmed version, captured on camera by Michael McDonough.

The emotion may not be as raw but the cinema viewer is aware of the additional artifice of watching the finished product on film. The effect is like opening a Russian doll, with each successive layer further skewing what we might consider to be real and what imagined. The echo of Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco is strong.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2013
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A drama exploring the politics of creative control in art, theatre and cinema.

Director: Graham Eatough, Graham Fagen

Writer: Graham Eatough

Starring: Ali Craig, Lucianne McEvoy, Keith Fleming

Year: 2012

Runtime: 48 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2013

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