The MOBB Project was devised and performed by Newcastle-Upon-Tyne based Jenny Duffy and Bristol collective Massive Owl. I saw it in the Wardrobe Theatre which is a small venue above the White Bear on St Michael’s Hill in Bristol, it was a well suited space as the proximity added to the chaos and made me feel more connected as an audience member. We were seated around the edge of the room just one row deep, so I also felt a little on show myself.
The show started gradually with performers entering at different times, each one describing a different viral video from youtube. There was a broad selection of videos described, some related to big news stories or even mentioning a well known American politician, which meant that the majority of people in the room would have had some sense of familiarity and some understanding of what was being described. As it progressed stories were interwoven and mistaken for one another as performers spoke over each other. There was, what seemed like, random movement and there was clearly staged movement and different levels of activity. There was also a period where the stories were whispered.
None of the stories belonged to people in the room. None of the stories related to one another. The main driving force of the performance was the energy which was used with caution and kept you bobbing along like you were on a wave. With ups and downs, and enough variety to keep you guessing.
The culmination was, what I would describe as an angry burst of emotion and I suspected this had been inspired, or perhaps even directly taken from one of the blogs below a youtube video.
Over all there wasn’t a real story, it was more of a social comment on the relentlessness of a platform such as youtube. And also how it brings unrelated things, events and people together, often in a way that is not productive or appropriate. But still we carry on watching enthralled by what we see. Well I certainly was tonight.