THE TENT was an hour-long theatre show for a sit down audience of 25, which incorporated installation, performance, puppetry and video under a purpose-built tent. It premiered at the Next Wave Festival in 2008 and has since been presented at Performance Space, Sydney, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Darwin Festival and PICA, Perth (touring with Mobile States).
The show was told the story of a friendship between an older man, Brett, a nomadic bush philosopher whose home is the tent, and a younger man, Michael, who is going through some kind of prolonged adolescence and at a loss as to what to do with himself. Viewed through the frame of this awkward male friendship, The Tent addressed questions of responsibility and accountability in relation to contemporary notions of masculinity and ‘coming of age’.
For this show, we built the tent ourselves out of old trucking canvas and scrap metal. A masculine object, its raw, dirty feel helped to feed the atmosphere of the performance. It was very much a character in the story and helped to implicate the audience in the story of the two men. The show has adapted to a variety of environments, from a cold, gravelly, disused carpark next to the railway tracks in Melbourne’s CBD, to a piece of crown land on Darwin Harbour in the tropical dry season.
Artists: Matt Prest, Danny Egger, Clare Britton, Eddie Sharp, Tony Osbourne, Cameron Searle, Tamara Rewse.
Premiered in May 2008 at Federation Square, Melbourne as part of the NEXT WAVE Festival.
Toured to Performance Space, Carriageworks, Sydney 2008, Campbelltown Arts Centre 2009, Darwin Festival 2010 and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art 2010.