Masks help build Confidence
THE Confidence Manhas been many years in the making for director and co-writer Zoe Pepper.
Following a Melbourne season in 2013, the interactive audio-driven work, presented by Perth Theatre Company and created by Side Pony Productions, puts six audience members onstage as the sole performers of the show.
Wearing masks and headsets, the volunteers are guided through the piece by listening to individual narration, a soundtrack and pre-recorded dialogue for their character.
“To clarify that, the six players are on their own discrete audio channel, one for each character, that has a mixture of dialogue, instructions and inner thought about what’s going on during the scenario,” Pepper said.
“And then the people round the perimeter (audience) each have a smartphone with the six faces of the six different characters and they can channel between the audio of the different characters.
“Everyone watching builds their own story and chooses their own version, like a choose-your-own-adventure, which is great in provoking discussion after the show because no one understanding of the story is completely the same.”
Pepper said she had been more stunned by the similarities than differences, as far as replicating the same performance with a completely different audience member.
The 45-minute production is a crime thriller meets family drama where an old friend visits a family and brings with him a big bag of cash and a whole pile of trouble.
Anyone interested in being in the show should arrive half an hour early and speak to the box office staff.
“I’m a person who hates audience participation so the challenge for me was to make a show with participation in a way that I would want to participate myself,” Pepper said.
“The masks have a big part to play in that in the way you’re anonymous, you don’t have to speak and only follow the instructions.
“It’s very action-driven and we don’t give you enough time to think and be self-conscious.”
Director Zoe Pepper with masks and a character from The Confidence Man.