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  • REVIEW | Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist | Push 2018

REVIEW | Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist | Push 2018

Anxious about how he gets to know people, Sam tells us the stories of his experience with numerous sexual encounters he has that spurred from a site called Craigslist.

YesYesNoNo theatre company make work concerned with discovering what democratic artistic endeavours can look like. They are an award-winning, Manchester-based theatre company that delves the exploration of theatre as a democratic space. The company’s aim is to create a space where real experiences are expressed through unreal means. This performance is funny, powerful and heart-aching as we are taken through Sam’s sexual experimentation and that way he feels about communication.

Walking into the show I had no idea what to expect, mainly due to the fact I’d never heard of the site Craigslist. Shortly I discovered it is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums – however, it is frequently used for casual sex.

Sam uses the audience to tell his five encounters, as he gets them on stage to either read out sections of his online emails and conversations. His approach is clever as he builds the stories through exceptional description and narrative by bringing people in, making his performance incredibly engaging.

The way Sam tells his stories is executed with humour and wit but get progressively bleaker as we discover Sam’s insecurities and feelings of emptiness. A really poignant moment in the show is when he talks about the 36 Questions That Lead To Love, a selection of questions created from a theory that he tests out on an audience member. Asking for volunteers, he asks a girl to come on stage, sits her down on a picnic blanket with him and they begin the questions.

Despite sitting in a room full of strangers, I suddenly felt as if I was in a room that felt safe enough, to be honest, and real. This girl opened up, answering honestly and frankly and you could hear a pin drop – everyone was so invested in the story.

Sam is remarkable in both storytelling and conversation, he manages to turn a theatre setting into a comfortable environment where for an hour, everyone feels a connection – it felt like an hour of therapy. I left thinking and feeling, it resonated with me for days.

5 Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist is on at Push Festival at HOME Mcr and information can be found here.

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