THE WELL CYCLE
AN IMMERSIVE WORK IN A DOMESTIC SPACE
‘The Well Cycle’ is a darkly funny new play by emerging playwright Alex Duncan that uses domestic violence as a frame through which to investigate issues of moral apathy, social inaction and inertia in contemporary Australian society. It is a roving performance that actually takes place inside a house with audience following the different threads of the story from room to room.
In 2014 we conducted a two week development of this work with a small group of performers. The work seeks to investigate
assumptions of our own personal safety and privacy, asking where our responsibilities to each other lie, and why we do or don't choose to intervene in others’ mistreatment.
The desire to make the work immersive comes from wanting to create for the audience the experience of voyeurism; curiosity, excitement, intrusion into the privacy and intimacy of others, hunger for scandal and violence, and the thrill and shame of satisfying that hunger and curiosity. If we watch, do we become responsible? Should we intervene, and if we did, when would be the right moment and what would that action look like?
The work is more immersive than interactive, meaning that the audience is within the work at a very intimate proximity to the performance whilst remaining ‘invisible’ to the performers.
They can move around the space autonomously, choosing which stories and scenes they see, and experiencing the work while huddled in corners, by looking through windows and peering around door-frames.
They are immersed in a sensory environment, in a seemingly familiar domestic space that gradually transforms into something more sinister and uncanny as their journey into the house unfolds and the moral clarity diminishes.
development supported by the Australia Council's Young Artist Initiative 2014
AMY- What do we do?
SAM- I don’t know.
AMY- He’s calling for help.
SAM- So help him!
AMY- I don’t want to help him.
SAM- Well, I don’t want to help him!
AMY- So what do we do?