Llain

Juncture – Day 19
Friday 23 March

Debate is raging amongst the audience at Juncture.

We’ve just witnessed Eddie Ladd‘s performance of Llain, a wise, considered and impassioned exploration of nationhood, identity and sovereignty. Llain fuses the national histories of Wales and the Palestinian territories of Israel (or ‘Palestine’, if you will).

The performance began with Eddie appearing immobile in front of a huge, beautifully luminous blue screen, as a voice-over explained that technical difficulties meant that we wouldn’t be experiencing the planned backdrop of video footage. Throughout the performance, Eddie’s voice-over described in exquisite detail the footage we should have been seeing behind her; and audio sequences from Lawrence of Arabia were spliced into the mix. We were told we should be seeing images of the Welsh coast; of a young girl with blood on her skirt, on the floor in front of the legs of a soldier, screaming…

A certain anxiety was palpable among the audience. It’s awkward to feel that the performer on stage is presenting something a little – however slightly – unplanned. In conversation afterwards, though, it seems the audience is divided in two. Many felt that the explanatory voice-over was a deliberately engineered element of the piece, designed to provoke the audience’s imaginations.

One member of the audience was overheard saying, “I loved it the way we saw it. The images in my head were much more powerful than any footage we could have seen. She might not even want to use those projections again when she hears how powerful it was tonight.”

Others are saying how challenging it must have been for Eddie to edit the piece during one afternoon of technical rehearsal, and wondering what might have been lost because of the missing footage.

At the time of typing, the audience has no idea if it was deliberate or not.

Either way, the response is overwhelmingly enthusiastic – people are moved and touched – and how interesting to see a performance that provokes a debate like this.

Eddie Ladd - Llain (c) Andy Wood

 

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