The Zero Hour

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“multiplatform theatre-makers of rare ambition and invention” The Guardian

“…utterly engaging, challenging and compelling piece of contemporary performance.” Total Theatre

Taking as its starting point the final moments of the Second World War in Berlin, The Zero Hour follows the stories of three couples living through three very different versions of the same historical events. In one version two Russian soldiers celebrate their survival amid the ruins of Berlin as, at the same time they prepare to say goodbye. In another, a British intelligence officer visits a Germany, allied with Britain, which has almost won the war against the Soviet Union, and where the Red army may have discovered a way to send messages through time. In a third a triumphant Soviet Union has occupied all of Europe except for Great Britain with whom an uneasy truce is maintained. Across these different histories the protagonists’ lives connect or fail to connect in ways which echo and resonate and gradually build a picture of human stoicism in the face of the wave of history. The Zero Hour asks difficult questions about how we understand ourselves in relation to the times and the universe in which we find ourselves. It is work which is overtly philosophical and we hope humane. It is also unapologetically romantic and shot through with the obsessions (sex, babies, death WW2 and time travel) which are the hall marks of ITD’s narrative inventions.

“It was imaginative, slickly performed, and important. I found it beautiful and compelling; particularly in terms of its form and staging. The symmetry of the composition and the muted use of colour were striking, as was the way in which the juxtaposition of live and recorded performance mediums called the role of theatre into question. In fact, I would highly recommend it as essential viewing for anyone sure or unsure of the role of live performance in an increasingly technological world.” – culturevultures.co.uk

On a formal level The Zero Hour continues ITD’s exploration of the relation between live action , computer generated animation and recorded material. In particular, the events of the stage are filmed and projected by a Chinese film crew, a device which helps to frame the audience’s interrogation of the process of the writing of history and the production of fictions.

The Zero Hour was supported by Arts Council England and made possible by Live at LICA, University of the Arts London and Lancaster University.


The Zero Hour was recently restaged in Batumi, Georgia as part of a British Council project. The show will continue to perform around Georgia in 2015. Dates to be posted soon.


British Council Showcase

 


Credits:

Written and directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks with the company
Video design by Simon Wainwright
Soundtrack by Jeremy Peyton Jones
Animation production by Adam Gregory
Video programming Simon Wainwright and Andrew Crofts

Performers:
Morven Macbeth
Anna Wilson-Hall
Laura Atherton
Adam Nash
Graeme Rose
Matt Pendergast
Nicholas Cass-Beggs
Song Chang
Wei Da Chen
Jinyu Zhou

Touring Technicians
Andrew Crofts
Ian Ryan