by Tim Crouch
Karl James and a smith.
Tim Crouch and Hannah Ringham.
“The patients like to look at the paintings. It helps them to feel better about their illnesses.”
“When I’m with my boyfriend I think that anything is possible. I wish that I wasn’t so ill so that we could have sex. We used to have really good sex. He knows so much about art, which is why he would love it here at the Fruitmarket Gallery. I don’t know anything, really. I look at these things and I don’t really understand them. I like them, but my boyfriend would understand them. He says that good art is art that sells.”
Forget thoughts of skinheads or nostalgia, ENGLAND is about an empire of a different kind – one of transmigrations and transplantations. It’s the story of one thing placed inside another: a heart inside another person’s body, a culture inside another country’s culture, theatre inside a gallery, a character inside an actor, a play inside its audience.
Performed by two guides within an exhibition, ENGLAND travels the trade routes of art and human beings. It’s about a sickness and the search for health at any cost. It’s a tour through space and across borders: from an art gallery to a jam factory, from Edinburgh to Osaka, from a hospital bed to a hotel room.
It’s a tour to the end of the world.
“She asks why this has happened to her family. She says she wants to know if you have an answer.”
ENGLAND is a pictogram of a search for a new heart. It continues Tim Crouch’s fascination with the nature of the theatrical experience; the communication of an idea from performer to audience – and back again. ENGLAND is performed in thin air, within space, between people. It is supported by a soundtrack by award-winning sound designer Dan Jones. The two actors are Tim Crouch and Hannah Ringham, a founder member of the Shunt Collective in London. ENGLAND is directed by Karl James and the artist a smith, both of whom worked with Tim Crouch on an oak tree.
success of ENGLAND
ENGLAND triumphed during a sell out run at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh as part of the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Critically acclaimed, it won three major awards: a Fringe First, a Herald Archangel, and a Total Theatre Award. It was a major success at the British Council Edinburgh 2007 Showcase.
ENGLAND has toured the UK has also played in Oslo Lisbon, Quebec, Madrid, Dublin, Wiesbaden, Melbourne, Singapore, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Budapest. In the US, it has visited Portland, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Yale University, Under the Radar Festival, New York, and Minneapolis.
ENGLAND played the Whitechapel Gallery London, promoted by the National Theatre in May /June 2009.
Image for ENGLAND is of Jane Prophet’s The Heart:
Silver on copper plated Rapid Prototype of healthy human heart.
Photo by Steve Payne, Graphics by Julia Collins