Features Published 29 April 2020

Post Pandemic #Work

Selina Thompson lists and itemises the performances to come, once lockdown is over.

Selina Thompson

-V #edgy work
-Work that’s a bit like an orgy (and I will try to attend! But other people stress me OUT)
-Work that is centred in on simply daily pleasures (a bit twee for me, but not all work is for me)
-Earnest Mental Health Work
-Pandemic as background to middle class biz work
-Work that tries to ignore this but the reviewers won’t let it/slash the ‘it’ is all over it because we are almost always writing with our reality exhaling all over it
-Comedy work that is too soon
-Comedy work that helps us laugh through it
-Fucking Great Fucking Britain Fucking Narratives that I WILL NOT SEE
-The same boring adaptations, but with pandemic as background
-Work that imagines the worst
-Work that is not really work, it’s just an artist and their mates doing apocalypse planning
-Work that maintains pandemic aesthetic – all done by post or via digital
-Work that tries to be Black Mirror, smh, there is ALWAYS work that tries to be Black Mirror, but you man are NOT Charlie Brooker, and even he is clapped at times
-Verbatim biz which I’d like if I went, but I won’t go
-Maybe maybe maybe (!!!) some kids will make some v new v exciting like totally new I could never have predicted it work? That would be good.
-Angry shouting white men work? Probably? What will they be shouting about… I dunno, but it will get five star reviews and I will bitch and moan about it.
-Someone’s got to come through with the BRECHT
-Who knows fam, Brecht but make it Black, I’d fuck with that
-Work that is just person and machine, something which simulated watching the technology that powered this time
-Opera, unaffected, unbothered, unmoved, unshaken
-Whatever the Hamilton man does next
-Sci Fi Work – YES PLEASE THANK YOU
-#Notalltories content about how POLITICIANS ARE PEOPLE TOO
-#Feminist work about what Theresa May was doing in this time
-#Feminist work about what would have happened of Theresa May was Prime Minister right now
-Riot Work
-Protest work
-Work about showering less
-Work about rediscovering your local area
-Police in the Family work
-Riot Van in the park work
-NEWSPAPERS ARE DEAD work
-Seven Killings of Rupert Murdoch work
-Everyday life was JUST BIZARRE work
-Alternative milestone birthday work
-Ten pieces about Jeremy Corbyn. Three happen in a kitchen while making jam, six happen on an allotment
-Oh God a lot of work about growing things, about baking things, about DIY
-SOMEONE HAS HAD A SEXUAL EPIPHANY AND THEY WANT YOU TO KNOW THE DETAILS
-Work by the sea. You just sit on the beach for a bit and cry. I go and see it every time its on.
-Heavy Metal work
-Someone does some reeeeeeal Artaud biz, v exciting.
-Grief work
-A million adaptations of those books you finally read
-…ballet anime
-All the West Indian Funeral songs, we just stand together and sing them
-Walls and walls of faces of the dead
-Supermarket Sweep: The Theatre Show
-Tiresome work about Beyoncé
-Sound work about quiet
-Sound work about birdsong
-Work with no words, you just watch folks in quarantine, someone coughs at the beginning and everyone walks out.
-An exhibition of face masks
-Children talking about living with their parents full-time
-Extraordinary birth stories that all merge into one
-Theatre about pets
-THEATRE ABOUT MY CAT SPECIFICALLY
-Stuff about the body – gaining weight losing weight too big for the house and a creaking bed
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-Empty Spaces for those that don’t make their shows because they leave the arts
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-Empty Spaces for those that don’t make their shows because the arts abandons them for what is safe and dull
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-Empty Spaces for those that don’t make their shows because in these moments they realise they have nothing to say
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-Empty Spaces for those that lose too much to make art any more
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-Empty Spaces for those who are not/will not be here, any more.

-Grief Work.
-So much Grief Work.
-So much Grief.
-Work that is scrambled by grief and death, undone by it, indecipherable as a result of it, unfocused and resistant to narrative because of it, furious, screaming, gagging with grief work.

-Hope work, I guess.
-Activist work, perhaps.
-Work about still having each other.
-Work about the earth.
-Justice work.
-Forward Work.

Assuming of course, that theatre and the arts exist in a form I could even imagine, in Autumn of 2021.

For more thoughts about what’s to come, read Greyscale and Exeunt’s Imaginary Reviews series.

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Selina Thompson

Selina is an artist and writer whose work has been shown and praised internationally. Her practice is intimate, political and participatory with a strong emphasis on public engagement, which leads to provocative and highly visual work that seeks to connect with those historically excluded by the arts. Selina’s work is currently focused on the politics of marginalisation, and how this comes to define our bodies, relationships and environments. She has made work for pubs, hairdressers, toilets, and sometimes even galleries and theatres, including BBC Radio, the National Theatre Studio and The National Theatre of Scotland as well as theatres across the UK, Europe, Brazil, North America and Australia.

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