The Doing Group
Stage Director & Performance Maker
written by Elfriede Jelinek
translated by Lilian Friedberg
directed by Peter Lorenz
performed by Jelena Bašić
dramaturgy by Irina Glinski
video by Michał Sztepiuk
with Stanley Smith
supervised by Graham Eatough
with technical support of Tony Sweeten
One toy land is turned into another toy land amidst the no man’s land between battlefield and playground. In the game of televised war, it is hard to tell who is allowed to say ‘we’ any more. A solo performer struggles with words and language as she attempts to untangle the machinery of war and mediatisation. She remembers media accounts of the Iraq war when she was a teenager and memories of the Bosnian war when she was a child refugee herself. In piles of human detritus and plastic toys, it becomes difficult to see the distinction between appearances and reality. Everything you see is true but none it is real. The violence lies in the act of representation and, with the help of live video, the performer tries to reclaim agency in the global cycles of constant destruction and reconstruction. Words are disembodied and reembodied. The frontline in the war of words between ‘us’ and ‘them’ starts to blur as accounts of Iraqi deserts and the siege of Sarajevo bleed into each other. The violent act of representation is played back to us on video and we find ourselves in the middle of this game of televised war. It all comes back round, especially the wars.
'I had the pleasure of being involved with the presentation of Bambiland as a supervising tutor at Glasgow University Theatre Studies department. Everyone here thought it to be a work of the highest quality in the rigour of its conceptualisation and the flare of its execution. I cannot recommend this excellent and vitally timely production more highly.'
Dr. Graham Eatough (Director & Lecturer at the University of Glasgow)
Original Devised Performance by The Doing Group shown at the James Arnott Theatre in Glasgow (GB) and at Temporary in Helsinki (FI) supported by the Alasdair Cameron Scholarship and TeaK.
Is this really something you want to see or would you rather be somewhere else? What else would you be doing? The Doing Group can do it for you. You have the choice and you will be disappointed. Indescribable excess is the cause of our desires. Still, we try to surprise you. We have created an impossible third space of encounter between simultaneous performances in Glasgow and Helsinki and we might have gotten a bit lost in it. As we find ourselves tied to the mast desiring different elsewheres, we drift off. Now, we have committed to it. We are obliged to enjoy.
Elsewheres was supported by the Alistair Cameron Scholarship, a commemorative grant supporting work by Graduates of the University of Glasgow Theatre Studies Department. In Helsinki the project was supported and hosted by Temporary.
Rain Is Liquid Sunshine
Rain Is Liquid Sunshine (2016)
Original Devised Performance by The Doing Group shown at the Pollockshields Playhouse as part of the Southside Fringe and as part of the UNFIX: ReBirth! Festival at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow (GB).
What futures can we imagine when ideas of progress have drained away?
Rain is Liquid Sunshine asks how weather systems, deconstruction and other urban cycles might inspire collective urban imagination.
In the exploration, The Doing Group situated themselves in a demolition site, engaging with the material qualities of both weather and detritus material found there. Performative interventions sought to activate the ubiquitous relationships between bodies, material and site, troubling notions of continual urban progress.
In the context of the black box theatre, Rain Is Liquid Sunshine interrogates how bodies and materials might create cycles and networks. Throughout the hour-long performance, a landscape emerges as materials reveal their singularities. Crashing rubble transforms into a soft dust, gently raining onto a thrumming metal grid. Handheld spray bottles dampen a climate in which a car tyre floats and tumbles in the gusts of a fan in the corner.
Each of the objects on stage weave their way into the cycle of another, and the bodies of human performers become background to the vibrancy of what might often be passed off as left over. Through evocative images created by performing the materials potentialities, the performance negotiates how we might imagine our environment anew.
'The performance by The Doing Group, Rain is Liquid Sunshine, was full of apt visual metaphors about sustainable building, with well-chosen text to match. The GU students’ name is a riposte to the passivity of a reading group, of course, so when you’ve done with my words, take the hint and give them your active support.'
Keith Bruce (Arts Editor for Herald Scotland)
'The Doing Group make strange, post-apocalyptic performance. Mad Max for kids. In Rain is Liquid Sunshine, a tyre is sent spinning into the sky, rain is produced through the interplay of an electric fan and a plastic water-spray bottle, and a fragmented text speaks of ruins. This is ecological performance, not because of what it says or discourses about, but because of what it does, its evocative mode of signifying produced by bodies, words and objects. There is nothing miserablist about this work of recycled remainders and detritus. What we experience as spectators, rather, is a strange sense of wonder, perhaps even a kind of astonishment – a happiness of sorts that might allow us to begin again and again. In their exhaustible affirmation of ruins, the Doing Group are true to their own mission statement: the aim – the ambition – is to use performance as a vehicle for thinking and feeling; which, in this instance, investigates what it means to live now, in a fragile and precarious time of political and ecological crisis. Rain is Liquid Sunshine is the best thing I have seen in Glasgow this year – an original and timely performance that does something new.'
Carl Lavery (Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Glasgow)
Photo Credits: Alex Lister, Alfonso Ramundo, and Aldo Ferrarello.
Reflections On The Self
Reflections On The Self (2016)
Director: Peter Lorenz
Performers: Hannah Kendaru, Hannah Wright, James Primmer, Joel McDiarmid
Technician: Michał Sztepiuk
Supervised by Nic Green
Performed at the James Arnott Theatre in Glasgow and the Tron Theatre as part of Outside Eyes.
We live in a world in which we constantly need to define and construct identities of responsible individuals around ourselves. This challenging new piece of contemporary performance explores notions of self and attempts to bring the constructed narrative of the self into crisis. The performers struggle with movement, text and video on stage questioning self-perception and self-presentation from the outside and inside. The performance unfolds like a broken mirror, as a fragmented collage of images and collective writings, which disrupts the idea of a unified, strong individual self dominant in Western individualism.
Photo Credits: Mihaela Bodlovic.
written by Heiner Müller
Hamlet / Hamlet-Actor: Dan Kelsey
Ophelia / Getrude: Frances Pattinson
Horatio / Polonius / Ghost / Claudius / Chorus - Josh Widera
Director - Peter Lorenz
Designer - Saskia-Lara Neupert
Stage-Manager - Louise Pålhed
Video Projections - Verena Kramer
Music and Sound Arrangement - Adam Carmichael
Lighting Technician - Manda Tamosauskaite
Sound Technician - Aiste Veseckaite
Many thanks to Kraftwerk, Ian Dickson, Rika Zayasu and Claudio Records.
HAMLETMACHINE is a collective experience. The pleasure in chaos. The joy in excess. The unleashing of insanity and the irrational. Finding a new weapon of not-knowing to lead the diseased knowledge to self-criticism. Exposing the cancer that devours the culture from within.
Heiner Müller allegorically breaks down and burns out the dramatic machinery of the cultural artefact of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He calls his text the ’shrunken head of the Hamlet tragedy’ set at the ruins of our society where no substance for dialogue exists anymore because there is no more history.
Defined by Arlene Akiko Teraoka as the ’the articulation of the postmodern revolution’, HAMLETMACHINE labels itself as a product of our society openly reflecting the cultural influences which shaped it. In the words of the author it ’may be read as a pamphlet against the illusion that one can stay innocent in this our world.’ Quotes from Shakespeare’s play as well as T.S. Eliot, Andy Warhol, Coca Cola, Ezra Pound and Susan Atkins among others interwoven into the choral stream of consciousness convey a nostalgic yearning for a sense of meaning, a sense of genuine feeling now lost within a dead literary model. The text becomes but one element in the production, along with the physicality of the actors as well as audio and visual dimensions of live music and projections.
Time Dust (2016)
Original Choreography at the Street Arts Festival in Mostar (BiH) in Cooperation in association with Kolektiv Kreativa and CRVENA in Sarajevo (BiH) supported by ASI Reisen and the Austrian Chancellory.
TIME DUST is a choreographic solo performance about remnants of human Zusammenleben (social coexistence) and their destruction for the creation of a future. It was originally performed at the Street Arts Festival in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and in Sarajevo in cooperation with Kollektiv Kreativa and CRVENA in June 2016. TIME DUST is inspired by and centred around the abandoned 9-story concrete ruin of the Old Bank in the centre of Mostar, which has been used as a sniper tower during the Bosnian War (1992-5). It engaged with the ruin site-specifically and metaphorically, exploring its inherent fragmentation and asynchronicity.
Being originally performed in the ruin itself, it heavily depended on the affective presence of the space with its cold concrete and dusty piles of dirt. Engaging with the presence of dust and concrete as manifestations of an entangled temporality of past, present and future, TIME DUST offers insights in how to deal with our post-capitalist society and the ruins it leaves behind.
TIME DUST sees the ruin as a defiant impression of fragmentariness, rejecting narratives and using incomplete movements that equally destroy and resonate what they once were. The fragmented solo choreography is composed of broken movements and remembered fragments of gestures from everyday life. TIME DUST‘s creation lies in its destruction and vice versa. The audience is seated wearing dust-masks around a pile of dust and crushed concrete through which the performer moves. The performer is wearing a specially manufactured one-piece suit made of fragmented mirror pieces which reflect its surroundings. Hence, the performer becomes an object of fragmented representation that performs permanently, in interplay with the dust and the light. By moving across the dust, the performer brings the dust alive as a constantly transforming sculpture in the air. The choreography unfolds slowly, simple movements are repeated and trigger emotional responses. Pain and trauma resonate in the struggles of the body through the inhumane environment of dust. Even ephemerality seems broken in the glimpses of light constantly reflecting from the sharp edges of the broken mirror pieces.
TIME DUST functions like a blast-hole: tearing a hole in solid concrete, creating an absence that inspires the spectator to fill it, like the paint-burst spilling from the wound of the ruin.
This project was funded by the Austrian Chancellery and ASI Reisen.
A Home for Nessie
A Home for Nessie (2017)
Artistic Response to Brexit through Video, Online and Print Media in Glasgow (GB) commissioned by the Goethe Institute Glasgow and presented at the "Spaces of Exile - Performing Borders in Europe" Symposium at Tramway in Glasgow (GB).
Nessie might be forced to move. Due to the uncertainties caused by Brexit, The Doing Group has filed an application for permanent residence in the name of the Loch Ness Monster. The UK Home Office has rejected this application, forcing Nessie to consider moving to a new lake within the EU. The general public is now invited to submit their favourite new lakes as a possible new home for the legendary creature.
There Is Lots Of Activity Going On Here But No Control.
There Is Lots Of Activity Going On Here But No Control. (2016)
Developed and performed at the Gilmorehill Studio Theatre by Arianne Welsh, Cait Lennox, Claire Dorrance, Rachel Pyke, Fiona Hollow, Jodie Creechan, Annie Saxberg and Peter Lorenz.
This contemporary performance has been initially developed for and shared in the context of a practice-as-research group project at the University of Glasgow. Our practice led us to exploring dramaturgies of diffraction as we began to perform with matter. We try to facilitate an experience of a more-than-human landscape. We do not reproduce or reflect, we map interferences of a variety of materials and experiments. We are not interested in where differences appear but rather where the effects of difference appear. We explore activity, agency and control in landscapes beyond our bodies. We are bodies in these landscapes. We become part of their continuous assemblage of interactivities. We are more-than-human. We question subjectivities - allow ourselves to be subject to matter. Our bodies (are) matter. The journey has lead us to experiments, still dances and site-specific field work only to lead us back into the studio. We think like eaters. We listen and tear things apart. We amplify and magnify to discover light coming in through the cracks. We tune into cycles and rhythms to find silences. We try to expand the “we” into a more-than-human collaboration. Together we are all actants. We map out our interactions through the traces of activity. There is a lot of activity going on here but no control.
The piece unfolds like a diffraction pattern. Sounds and images are repeated and amplified. Loud and harsh soundscapes of digestive processes are interspersed between choreographic sequences of bodies and matter. Experiments where matter takes control and where suspense is built by the unpredictability of materials take place in the middle of the performers and audience. A volcano of dark liquid spills over a sheet of plastic reminiscent of an oil-spill in the arctic. Bodies, moved in the wind, become subject to the landscape. Patterns of constant dripping on clay create images of distant landscapes. Apples fall, text is spoken, apples are eaten. We have become apples and apples are part of us. Words and things chase each other and seem to merge. Words and sounds become one in the same way as we and the landscape become each other. The bodily presence, biting, chewing, swallowing, creates a living picture. The waves expand, noise is followed by silence, we end up with and without control at the same time. We lie in a mess of effects, the wound of a performance that burst open amidst us. The wound becomes a womb for new perspectives offered by conscious interaction with matter. What else can we do? We are (only) human.
'"There is a lot of activity going on here but no control.” is a thoughtful, poetic and playful piece that prompts us to re-imagine our relationship with “things”. By creating a space in which everything seems to be slowed down – nearly meditative – and incredibly close-up, the group is able to subtly and cleverly confront the audience with larger questions of how we might encounter non-human matters, the impact of our actions on the environment and finding new, more expansive, ways of living within a more-than-human world.'
Cara Berger (Lecturer in Drama at the University of Manchester)
'There was a lot of activity going on here but no control” is an immersive performance, with a distributed sense of itself. Here, the stage is transformed into a landscape, in which actors and objects share agency and bleed into each other. Had he seen it, Bruno Latour might have called this a theatrical assemblage. In this performance, theatre is an actant in and by itself, and the imagination is a by-product of materiality. This is performance for the anthropocene. It is brilliantly relevant.'
Carl Lavery (Professor in Theatre and Performance at the University of Glasgow)
Interactive Sound Installation by Laurin & Peter Lorenz at the Street Arts Festival in Mostar (BiH) awarded a Walking Visionaries Award at Walk21 in Vienna (AUT) supported by the Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo (BiH).
We used walking practices like drifting and soundwalking to explore the sonic character of the city of Mostar. The objects found on our walks were upcycled into an interactive soundscape-installation in an abandoned public building. This transformed space invites passerbies to leave their ordinary walking routes and engage creatively with their living environment.
As part of the Austrian Artist Delegation funded by the Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo, we designed a three-day multi-arts workshop for the Street Arts Festival in Mostar 2015. The final product was an interactive sound-installation in the ruin of the Old Library using instruments made of found objects and recycled materials. This is reflected in the name “Muziklaža”: the combination of Music (Muzika) and Recycling (Reciklaža). The collaborative process aimed to open up the participants’ perception of the city through sonic exploration leading to a recovery of agency in shaping the city and its soundscape.
Our understanding of urban exploration is inspired by the Situationist International and their idea of Psychogeography. We adapted their practice of drifting (derivé) as a means to discover the urban landscape through cross-walking it. Combining drifting with Hildegard Westerkamp’s practice of “Soundwalking”, we explored the city’s landscape and its connected soundscape. The focus on auditory experience helped us to escape our ordinary walking paths and find a new way of shaping the constant dialogue with our environment. We sought inspiration in retracing acoustic clues in the ruin of the Old Library in Mostar.
On these drifts, we collected trash and found objects as residues of the urban soundscape and materials for the creation of recycling-instruments. The reappropriation and instrumentalisation of the trash gave the participants the chance to create their own urban soundscapes which were combined into the final interactive installation. Hence, the installation represents a collective auditory reimagining of the city.
The produced installation at the Old Library reclaimed the abandoned war ruin as a public sound-library which offers to experience unknown sonic possibilities within the urban surrounding. Furthermore, the reappropriation of the space invites passerbies to leave the comfort of the newly paved pedestrian zone and to take new paths into unused public spaces. The sound-library provokes people to focus on the auditory perception of urban residues and use them to contribute actively to the urban soundscape. Muziklaža encourages the citizens of Mostar to find their own creative paths to shape their urban surroundings. Therefore, conscious walking is the first step to leave the beaten track.
This project was awarded a Walking Visionaries Award by Walk 21 Vienna.
Imprints: Hush Hush
Imprints: Hush Hush (2015)
Living sculpture. Inside out. Secretchamberzipupboilercupboardrecyclingcave. A maze of sculpture, performance art, and sound installation invites you to playfully explore traces of the artists’ existence. New perspectives on living spaces and relationships between social/private and outer/inner life are opened up. Together we re-imagine intimate worlds. A vibrant diversity of microcosms subverts notions of success and failure. The place of exhibition provides the living context of the work.
This performative exhibition of interactive installations was presented by Trent Kim, Adam Carmichael and Peter Lorenz as part of the Glasgow Open House Festival 2015.
Photo Credits: Lubomir Ballek.
La Bohème (2017)
Opera in Italian by Giacomo Puccini.
As Assistant Director with Scottish Opera (UK) at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh and the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.
Director: Renaud Doucet
Designer: André Barbe
Conductor: Stuart Stratford
Cast: Hye-Youn Lee, Luis Gomes, David Stout, Jeanine De Bique, Božidar Smiljanić, Damien Pass and Jonathan Best.
As well as Revival Director at the Theater St.Gallen (CH).
Il Ritorno d’Ulisse In Patria
Il Ritorno d’Ulisse In Patria (2016)
Opera in Italian by Claudio Monteverdi.
As Assistant Director for the Festival of Early Music at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck (AUT).
Director: Ole Anders Tandberg
Set Designer: Erlend Birkeland
Costume Designer: Maria Geber
Conductor: Alessandro De Marchi
Cast: Kresimir Spicer, Christine Rice, David Hansen, Nina Bernsteiner, Hagen MAtzeit, Marcell Bakonyi, Francesco Castoro, Ann-Beth Solvang, Carlo Allemano, Jeffrey Francis, Ingebjørg Kosmo, Vigdis Unsgård, Petter Moen, Halvor F. Melien and Andrew Harris.
Il Matrimonio Segreto
Il Matrimonio Segreto (2016)
Opera in Italian by Domenico Cimarosa.
As Assistant Director for the Festival of Early Music at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck (AUT).
Director: Renaud Doucet
Designer: André Barbe
Conductor: Alessandro De Marchi
Cast: Giulia Semenzato, Klara Ek, Renato Girolami, Donato di Stefano, Loriana Castellano and Jesus Alvarez.
Opera in French by Jean-Baptiste Lully.
As Assistant Director for the Festival of Early Music at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck (AUT) and the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci (GER).
Director: Deda Christina Colonna
Designer: Francesco Vitali
Conductor: Patrick Cohën-Akenine
Cast: Emilie Renard, Rupert Charlesworth, Daniela Skorka, Miriam Albano, Pietro di Bianco, Tomislav Lavoie, Bass, Jeffrey Francis, Enquerrand de Hys and the Nordic Baroque Dancers.
La Púrpura De La Rosa
La Púrpura De La Rosa (2015)
Opera in Spanish by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco.
As Assistant Director for the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci (GER).
Director, Puppet & Costume Designer: Hinrich Horstkotte
Set Designer: Nicolas Bovey
Conductor: Eduardo Egüez
Cast: Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, Roberta Mameli, Mariana Rewerski, Anna Alàs i Jové, Maximiliano Baños, Magdalena Padilla, Olga Pitarch, Furio Zanasi and the Nova Lux Ensemble.
Photo Credits: Stefan Gloede.
Peter Lorenz started off as a clown and ended up directing Beckett, Müller and Jelinek as well as original performances ranging from solo choreographies to interactive installations in the UK, the Balkans and the German-speaking-area. After high-school at Akademisches Gymnasium Innsbruck (AUT), Peter finished the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma at the United World College (UWC) in Mostar (BiH) with full points and graduated from the Theatre Studies department at the University of Glasgow (UK) with a Master of Arts (MA) first class honours degree. Apart from also working as assistant director for different opera companies all over Europe, Peter enjoys getting inspired by playing with remnants of society such as ruins, detritus and noise. As part of The Doing Group, a Glasgow-based performance group, Peter is constantly experimenting with new forms of contemporary performance modes and formats that investigate urban cycles, post-humanism and global interconnection.
Peter started developing and sharing stagings and original performances work in Mostar (BiH) at OKC Abrašević, the Croatian National Theatre and the Street Arts Festival of which Peter was a co-founder. In Glasgow (UK), Peter presented work at the James Arnott Theatre, Tron Theatre, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Pollockshields Playhouse, Tramway, The Stereo, The Glad Café as well as part of the Glasgow Open House Festival, Southside Fringe, UNFIX: ReBirth! Festival, Outside Eyes the Workers Theatre Weekender and with Scottish Opera touring to the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh and the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness. Peter has been working regularly as a assistant director for the Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck (AUT) and the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci (GER) as well as revival director at the Theater St.Gallen (CH). Peter assisted various directors such as Renaud Doucet, Hinrich Horstkotte and Deda Christina Colonna.