"‘Breaking’ is unapologetically authentic, absolutely riveting and unashamedly dark."
- Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane
Breaking is a live-streamed performance co-written with Nathan Sibthorpe for Counterpilot.
It premiered at Metro Arts in December 2022, with return seasons in the works.
In this livestream performance, a series of grim news bulletins are delivered by unrehearsed guest performers reading from an automated teleprompter. Each is an interruption from the previous broadcast, solemnly delivering new rounds of bad news, rapidly evolving in intensity and absurdity.
An animal has been declared extinct.
A bomb blast in a distant and hard-to-pronounce country.
A beloved morning TV show host has been fired for misconduct.
The bulletins play on the performance of impersonal empathy, attempted composure, the futility of calming a nation, the unbelievability of apology, and the familiarity of incomprehensible bad news. The unrehearsed and unprepared nature of the delivery creates an authentic challenge for performers that is compelling in its struggle - finding playfulness by teasing cracks in the facade of broadcast media.
The bulletins are scripted with the game of performance in mind. Laced with dark comedy, they toy with the impossibility of authenticity, but also glimpse notes of inexpressible pain. The irredeemable darkness of our times is touched on, but only to be mishandled in the most human of manners.
Breaking is designed for online delivery, with remote guest performers recruited fresh for each performance.