Free will or manipulation? Fight Night packs a political punch
The Drum, Plymouth, until October 12.
Seconds away… round one.
The challenging and exciting Ontroerend Goed company are back in Plymouth with Fight Night – a performance which takes five candidates, puts them in the ring and asks the audience to vote.
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It's an articulate concept which seems strangely timely, whether it's the impact of voting on game shows like Strictly Come Dancing or The X Factor or the sight of politicians laying out their stalls to the voters in the annual party conference season.
With a ringmaster to guide us and each one of the 133 members of the (predominantly female, under-45, middle-class) audience armed with a remote voting device, it's game on as host Angelo poses a series of questions – firstly to determine who we, the audience, are and then to make us choose between the five candidates.
Seconds away… round two.
The first choice between the candidates is done "blind" – with just their faces visible. There are three men and two women. Will it be number one, two, three, four or five?
Gradually we learn more about Sophie, Charlotte, Valentijn, David and Roman – their views on race, sex, religion, whether they could be an action hero or a coward. But we also learn more about ourselves as a collective body. How we can be manipulated, persuaded, cajoled. The simplicity of the set-up – we vote, something happens – hides a clever and complex work from a talented company.
As each audience is different, so each evening is different; but I would love to know how many times the same results are achieved. It's certainly food for thought which makes us wary of the power of our vote. Fight Night certainly packs a punch.