This article details audiences’ responses to Outdoors (2011–2012), the first U.K. commission for contemporary performance company Rimini Protokoll. Collaborating with Wales’ brand new English language national theatre, 13 members of a Welsh community choir were asked to film a series of narrated journeys around the town of Aberystwyth. By watching choir members’ pre-recorded videos and listening to their memories, audiences followed the lead of these absent performers around town. Drawing on findings from The National Theatre Wales Audience Research project, this article asks how participants managed their performative engagements with Aberystwyth, which was simultaneously presented on iPod screens and experienced as a guided tour. It argues that audiences’ mediated engagements were a process of simultaneous remembering and forgetting: a dual-perceptive balancing act in which feelings of immersion and distance were processed contemporaneously. While Aberystwyth was presented by Outdoors as a place twice lost, audiences’ responses suggested that the experience of place hadn’t quite been found.
- Rimini Protokoll
- National Theatre Wales