Tuesday 12 May 2009

Tunnel 228

Today we went to see Tunnel 228. I wouldn't be able to give this enough credit by explaining it myself - it was absolutely amazing! I'll copy what a magazine has said about it and put up a couple of pictures. AMAZING!!! Made my day.

Tunnel 228 will run for 15 days from May 8. It is free to attend and sponsored by Bloomberg. The show promises to take audiences “on a sensory journey through art-installations, sculpture, live performance and vaults of mysterious curiosities”.

Like the city of Metropolis, Tunnel 228 divides the world into two social groups: one of planners or thinkers, who live high above ground and are oblivious to life underground. The other is a world of workers who live in the vaults of Tunnel 228 laboring to sustain the lives of those above ground. On arrival, audiences are issued with a protective mask, before setting off into the darkness to explore this subterranean world alone.

Tickets can be obtained free of charge by accessing Tunnel 228’s website and reserving a time slot to become a ‘worker’ at www.tunnel-228.com.

Kevin Spacey, Old Vic artistic director, said: “We are very excited to be working with Punchdrunk and such an amazing collection of artists. Punchdrunk creates immersive theatre like no other. Their imagination and magical touch with unusual spaces makes this the perfect collaboration. A big thank you to Bloomberg for sponsoring Tunnel 228, without their support this event would not be free to the public.”

Punchdrunk artistic director Felix Barrett added: “Punchdrunk always aims to let people rediscover the excitement and anticipation of exploring the unknown. When The Old Vic showed us the site we knew that this would be a truly unique collaboration. There are so many talented and innovative artists involved, and showcasing an event like this completely free to the public is especially incredible.”


Soren Hawes said...

Like Amber I really enjoyed "Tunnel 228". The setting would have been pretty special on its own, but there were so many elements that made it truly memorable - the lighting, the soundscapes, the installations, the performances, the sense of bewilderment and disorientation ...
My favourite element was a kinetic sculpture that threads itself around the maze of rooms - it reminded me of the game Mouse Trap and the Honda ad where one object nudges the next and then the next falls on the next which releases a spring which projects an arm which ... you get the picture.

It was very interesting to see how the experience was site specific - it would be a real shame if we moved to the new building without thinking how we might offer a similar experience in our current building.


Jon said...

I'm really sorry I missed it. I'm going to try to register as a "worker" on the website and see it later this week. Presumably the space was empty before Punch Drunk moved in? There are a different set of challenges for us in transforming a living building but I don't think this should put us off. Did you get any ideas about what we'd like Tangled Feet to do for us based on your experiences here?

Jon said...

Why was it over 16s only?

Anonymous said...

Not fully sure why it was over 16 there was only one little bit of nudity, so was not that bad at all! As some one that has started liking abandoned buldings the location was amazing and would have been amazing if there was nothing inside it, however it looked fantastic with all the content that was with in it. I think that they certainanly made it interested in how you get into the space (once we found it) after signing in the "actors"/staff gave a few rules however they had balaclarvers on and because they was all in black all the assistances could blend into the back ground. I really liked the sound that was played in the background and I think that the section that had all the light bolbes made it really interesting how they drew people into it by playing a very loud noise (it sounded like a jet powering up) and the lights got very bright! Was amazing as many people should register as a "worker!"

Amber Rowe said...

I don't think it really needed to be over 16's. Some of the flooring was a bit dangerous but I think it was just the overall gesture of some of the ideas that didn't make sense until you had seen it all.
Tallis should incorporate the models throughout it - always acting - even when Mr Hawes needed directions to the exit. Motionless models aswell, that I stared at for a very long time and didn't move at all.
The link between the spaces also with no direct route or direction pointed out so to make sense of it you may have to revisit some things and not others.

Anonymous said...

Tunnel 228. Wow, what an experience. I felt I had to write something on here as I have been telling anyone who would listen how brilliant this show was.
I've been to see Punchdrunk before so had a bit of an idea what to expect but still, nearly every element of Tunnel 228 was unexpected. We were given really shaky directions of how to find the space so even before we arrived we were taking part in a journey to the unknown. When we eventually found the unmarked entrance we went into a dusty abandoned room with one low, dull lightbulb hanging from the ceiling and a man at a desk asking for our reservation. As our eyes grew accustomed to the lack of light we noticed in the back of the room, in the shadows, two people in balaclavas. We were sent over to them given doctors face masks to wear and told not to speak. We were then sent through into another dark room. I found it all pretty unnerving. I think this very unusual approach to treating participants is one of the reasons why the show is for over 16's. As we found out later on when we struggled to find our way out, the characters in balaclavas that were positioned around the space were pretty unhelpful. The masks we had to wear also made me feel really claustrophobic and every time someone moved out of the shadows into the light (characters and other participants) I felt a bit nervous. I think I've been dreaming of people coming out of the shadows since then, so I guess younger participants might have been a bit scared.

I loved the way that when you entered the tunnels you had no idea of what work you would see or who it would be by. Unusually, we received the program with information on the featured artists after we had left. Because I had no idea of what I would see I felt like I had to really explore the space and discover all the little rooms and secret openings. I didn't want to miss any part. There was also no obvious route around the space. You had to double back on yourself and make decisions on which bit to see first and which to come back to. The Mouse Trap element that Soren talks about was one way Punchdrunk focused our attention but there was no commitment to follow the action and you could walk away from what was happening and find your route. I really really love this element of Punchdrunks work. It made me feel like I was discovering new pieces of work as I made the decisions of which way to walk. I also felt really rewarded when I turned a corner and found an underground lake or a giant paper forest.

This post is getting quite long, so finally, the tunnels where this piece was based we old and disheveled and dirty and while that was interesting in itself, the installations within the tunnels were sometimes hidden and quite hard to find (a piece on the ceiling, one where you had to climb a pile of rocks and look through a grate). Because of this I had to change my thinking and my perceptions of what objects were or could be. I had to look much harder to find things and felt rewarded for my efforts. Tunnel 228 was so inspirational. I absolutely loved it. I hope we can use some of the techniques Punchdrunk use (freedom of movement, ownership of discovery) in our Creative Tallis Event.