CIRCA Art Magazine –

Circa 1xx: Article / Review

 

 
 

 



Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast was a re-enactment of a fragment of a script from the 1980s TV show Dallas with three casts of three Belfast actors, selected by open audition. Filming was completed in September 2006 and the work was premiered in April 2007 as part of the concluding Space Shuttle event at PS2, Belfast. See www.spaceshuttle.org.uk

Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast was commissioned as one of six projects in the Space Shuttle programme, initiated by Paragon Studios/ PS2, Belfast; the projects were funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through National Lottery Funding, and Belfast City Council through Celebrate Belfast 2006. Image courtesy of Titanic Quarter Ltd.

Details for Actors

Cast No 1:
Liam O'Carroll Norris as JR; Stephen Angus as McKay; Carly Young as Bobby.

Cast No 2:
Adrian Cooke as JR; Jim McGookin as McKay; Andrew Higgins as Bobby.

Cast No 3:
Kelly Anne Flynn as JR; Olivia O'Kane as McKay; Carly Young as Bobby.

About the Set:

For the set, the 'Space Shuttle' (the silver box you saw at auditions) is converted into a typical office. This is furnished with a desk, executive chair, water-cooler and wall decorations. In effect, this simulated space could be a modern office anywhere in the world — it's often the case that big decisions and choices that have far-reaching consequences are made in such places.

Significantly, the set is located in the post-industrial landscape of what will soon be redeveloped as the Titanic Quarter. At 75 hectares (185 acres), it represents one of the largest waterfront developments in Europe ( www.titanicquarter.com ). The set has been positioned so its windows carefully frame this landscape, and the views are important in providing a sense of place. (This is at odds with the interior that could be anywhere).

Think of the space inside the box, the set, as a kind of isolated bubble or think-tank. It is a place slightly removed from the city, a place for reflection on the city's past and possible futures. We will be repeating lines and scenes over and over so it may be useful to think of it as a time warp or something like that.


Why Dallas ?

As one of the most watched TV shows in history, Dallas was an important cultural presence and gathered a mass audience on an international scale. In America, it served to promote a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption and act as a social balm following the American recession and oil crises of the ’70s. It occurred at a time when the US was entering its post-industrial phase.

We are working with a small fragment of an original, fictional Dallas script from 1987. This fiction describes the now-dominant forces of global capitalism, such as foreign investment, multinational corporations and de-nationalised industry. We are interested in how you will interpret and bring this script to life through a kind of cross-cultural translation enacted with Belfast’s docklands (rebranded as the Titanic Quarter) as backdrop.

We want to work closely with the different casts to enact 3 different interpretations of this script within the Belfast context.

Why the Titanic Quarter?

We are interested in what the redevelopment of this historic site promises. For instance, in the Titanic Quarter's promotional brochure it proposes to 'democratise luxury', and offer 'the cruise liner lifestyle' to Belfast.

Also in its own way we find the site beautiful, and see this as an opportunity for the work made to be a marker in time, between Belfast's industrial past and the proposed vision of the future. These massive complexes of apartments, retail environments and leisure spaces will act as rebranded 'cities within cities': ironically exactly what cruiseliners such as the Titanic were originally intended to be. Where such places were previously sent out in the world to be experienced as 'floating communities of luxury and leisure' (Titanic Quarter publicity video), they are now being built for the docklands sites, to be experienced in situ.

You will not be asked to adopt the Texan accent.

 

 
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Reprinted from Circa 1xx, Season 20xx, pp. xx - xx