Gob Squad was started by students on the Contemporary Arts Course at Nottingham Trent University and some German exchange students. Appropriately, they have returned to Nottingham Playhouse for the premier of their latest performance artwork, Kitchen.
In 1965, Andy Warhol was experimenting with the medium of film and produced some unusual pieces which concentrated on people doing ordinary and extraordinary things. One film merely showed a man sleeping for eight hours. Kitchen was a largely unscripted and undirected piece filmed in, you guessed it, a kitchen in which people drink coffee, talk about sex, have a party and generally mess around. It is this work that Gob Squad have chosen to reproduce. All the action occurs out of view and is filmed and projected onto a screen at the front of the stage. Although few people will have seen the original (including the Gob Squad cast) because very few copies exist, they have recreated many of the original scenes and much of the dialogue as well as copying the amateurish production values.
Gob Squad's work always involve plenty of audience interaction and in this case, we are given the chance to experience our own fifteen minutes of fame. As the play proceeds, the four cast members replace themselves with people chosen from the audience. As they clamber across the rows of seating searching for their replacement, you either shrink nervously into your seat or sit up hopefully, depending on your character. Once chosen, the audience members are led behind the screen and directed by the corresponding cast member.
Gob Squad's aim in their work is to discover and create "moments of beauty and humanity" and the use of 'ordinary' people in this work lends it a particularly human dimension that, like Warhol's original, is an antidote to highly polished and sterile art.
Gob Squad's Kitchen was performed at Nottingham Playhouse from 29-30 May 2007. It will be performed again at the Nottingham Contemporary on 29-30th May 2011 as part of the NEAT11 festival
Interview with Gob Squad's Sarah Thom