We mystify ourselves. This is the overriding feeling one can come away with after watching the immersive Get a Round. Nothing much happens in it: 3 girls, lots of booze (generously offered out to the audience and poured down their throats at frequent intervals), smeared make-up, karaoke and vomiting sessions – abated by copious amounts of Wotsits. At times, one of the girls relates the same sad story, a metaphor for the vicious circle that binge drinking represents. One of the others mumbles incoherently about the state we’re in: “One half of the country’s drinking out of Costa cups, the other half’s begging out of them.”
The audience is mesmerised. Divided into groups, with some playing the “You go girlfriend” act; others being the “deflators” and other taking on the stock personalities to be found in any group on a night out, they can’t take their eyes off the girls. Even when they stuff toilet paper down their pants, throw up and bleed from the head. And this is all there is to Get a Round. A look at binge drinking: girls stoned and out of it and vulnerable. Girls pretending to be girls, acting how they think girls are meant to act or should.
Seamlessly structured, they are so used to each other they barely need to glance when one launches drunkenly into a bit of stand up or improvisation: it is as if they move as one in this hour-long spectacle piece. Not too much is given to us. We just watch and are sometimes on the end of thickly-uttered confessions or wine-soaked rambles. This is why, it seems, we mystify ourselves in an attempt to understand who we are and, in doing so, break down the traditional modes of theatrical rhetoric. Not quite though.
This could be, at times, a inverting caricature of Act Without Words I. Things are lowered on ropes – microphones, bottles of cider, whisky: the difference is that here the girls get what they want and are constantly trying to get away from it and from their own existence, and not to something and into existence. Amazingly, it is enjoyable to have our expectations questioned, not to be spoon-fed and to be able to look where we want, rather than being directed. There is a beyond method going on with the actors here, they are beyond pretending and are being.
Egg Collective make the assumption that we are interested in watching girls get drunk and dancing and ranting, even when it seems as if there is no meaning, no thought behind it. They assume or propose that we should be interested simply because we should be interested in our fellow human beings. It is sort of naturalism gone mad where we have behaviour and barely any context. But isn’t this the most natural of things? The characters the girls create are so strong, destructive, and yet interesting in this destruction, that we don’t need a plot. There’s a sort of Aristotelian comedy to it despite the boorishness. It’s almost morally nihilistic. As well as being a good night out…