Interview: GOLKK Theatre Talk New Show rest[less]

GOLKK Theatre have a new show, rest[less], which is set to play at the Resolution 2019 Festival at The Place, London on 31st January 2019. I caught up with company members Olaf and Kristin to find out more about this new work.

So, a new year and a new show for GOLKK! Can you tell us a little about the new show, rest[less]?

K: rest[less] is definitely something fresh and new to us, yet carries the GOLKK energy and style in it. It took us some time to shake off the Peeking characters and not let them creep into rehearsals, but here we are into the abstract world of rest[less] , exploring work-stress.

There’s certainly plenty of material around in the modern world for a show looking at the physical and psychological effects of over-working – did something specific inspire this particular show?

K: Actually the theme formed itself during rehearsals. We tend to work in that way- we improvise with something small say a type of movement, an image or some text, we set some ground rules for the improvisation (with an aim to play) and then we see where it takes us. In this particular situation we improvised with beehives and then the restlessness came from it. This then led us into researching more about work-stress, bees and beehives.

Restlessness seems an incredibly fitting subject for a physical theatre company. Do you think the physical approach to this piece gives it that extra layer of depth, as I suspect it might?

O: Yes, the physical-theatre aspect of the piece, mixed with our GOLKK touch and a hint of bees and honey, gives the audience a chance to see and interpret restlessness in a new light. I hope that the physical language we have created for this piece opens for new dialogue of how we deal with work related stress and things such as burnout. Because these issues are spoken about now, but maybe not with the essence of importance and urgency with which I believe it does need.

As ‘rest[less]’ is a non-narrative piece which takes audiences into an abstract world with ‘movement language’ dominating, in what ways do you hope this approach will entice and entertain current audiences?

O: We find it so wonderful to hear how each individual audience member have their own idea or thoughts on what the show might signify or portray. The audience are given a certain freedom to imagine what the story is and what they take from it.

You promise to pull audiences ‘into the present’ with this very contemporary subject matter. What do you make of the idea that none of us are living in the present as we’re all too busy stuck behind the glass of our phone screens? Would you say this show is in any way related to such criticisms of our times?

K: Absolutely. Even though we have no phones on stage, we tend to lose ourselves in the business and repetitiveness of certain moments in rehearsals. The body and mind detach and we get stuck in or between one of them. It is an interesting sensation that we tend to get between our hands and brain when on smartphones. 

O: That is what’s so lovely about theatre, dance-theatre and performance in general, we all put our phones away for an amount of time in order to be in and experience something together. This does not only apply to the audience but to us as performers, GOLKK is all about being present in the moment, offering the audience the chance to act and react with the performers. The show itself gives the audience an opportunity, not only to reflect on the present social situation, but also to share the present moment by watching a live performance and after talk and discuss with each other face to face about what they have just witnessed. 

This is GOLKK’s third show I believe? Can those who saw Peeking in the Portrait last year look forward to any similarities of style or approach in rest[less]?

K: Yes, the approach of creation of the world of the show and the characters follows the same pattern- IMAGINATION. About the style, I am sure we are still as bizarre as Peeking. And just like Peeking in the Portrait, rest[less] will be a different experience every time you see it.

There’s a distinct time culture shift between Peeking in the Portrait and rest[less] – what would you say most draws GOLKK to new subjects?

O: When we work we often find a subject which many people might not notice or be aware of but which they experience or live in every day. We take these themes or subjects and place them into new universes on stage where we get to explore these themes in new ways together. We let our imagination swoop us away, simultaneously being anchored to reality through a dramatic eye.

Is rest[less] designed purely to entertain or does it carry a message?

O: It definitely does both. There is risk, both metaphorically and literally, and a message concerning today’s society that the audience can get to sit and brew on for a bit.

What would you like your audiences to take away from rest[less]?

O & K: That we are not alone in this world. We all work together, we need to socialise to survive as humans, so we need to be careful not to let each other fall into that deep burnout abyss which can be very difficult to get out from. And hopefully to see themselves in the piece from another angle.

Now it’s that time again. Please sell your show rest[less] to us in just one sentence…

K: Expect a swirl of work, home and bees that will soak you into honey before you even notice.

Remember, rest[less] plays at the Resolution 2019 Festival at The Place, London on 31st January 2019. You can find information and tickets here.

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