JEMIMA YONG

Marathon

The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award 2018, co-produced by Barbican
Available for touring

"... go and see Marathon if you want to know what the purpose of theatre is. If you want to know why and how theatre is alive"

A Younger Theatre

I co-created and performed in Marathon as part of JAMS. In the piece, four people, under a kind of collective amnesia, are trying to remember a play they once staged together. Marathon was made as a response to the unpredictable, tumultuous political events of 2016 from a place of confusion, anxiety and paralysis. Through an artistic process led by Alan Fielden, we explored group hysteria, disagreement and repair. 

Here is Diana Damian Martin on an early version of Marathon: 

"Four bodies on stage are attempting to reconstruct an event; the event is a story about a messenger, a witness, a king, and an indefinite ‘people’ that weave in and out. Four bodies on stage are waiting. Four bodies on stage are enacting an event that is both unfolding in front of us, and precedes us. The event is plural: it is neither contained by the recurring narrative moments (the messenger moves us through it all), nor by the repetitions, the narrative units that blur one thing into another. This is a rehearsal, this is an event, this is a play within a performance. It is also none of those things. It is a kind of atmosphere of crisis that plays out in intimate domesticities – personal to political, actual and manufactured. It is variants of familiarity that shape intimate anxieties, it is crises on a planetary scale. A poetics of anticipation that collapses into theatre, and theatre that constantly collapses onto itself. Like Forced Entertainment put through a shredder, or a Bausch choreography in the form of a script.

Previous shows

Premiere: 20 - 29 September 2018, Pit Theatre, Barbican Centre, London, UK

Credits

Lead artist and performer: Alan Fielden 
Co-creator and performer: Sophie Grodin, Malachy Orozco and Jemima Yong
Barbican premiere produced by: Natalie Raaum 
Mentors: Karen Christopher, Jonathan Burrows, Sarah Wilson-White and Jane Greenfield

Production photography by Camilla Greenwell

Links

Using Format