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A RELAXED AND PLAYFUL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

Print Version

NZ Fringe Festival 2013
FOR YOUR FUTURE GUIDANCE
presented by Binge Culture

at Co.Space, 155 K' Road, Auckland
From 20 Feb 2013 to 24 Feb 2013
[50 mins]

Reviewed by Glen Pickering, 27 Feb 2013


“Write your name on the sticker,” says the door man. “Go downstairs. The bar's open, grab a drink.” It's not open, so I can't. Maybe I'm early. There are only 3 of us here.

Joel Baxendale, our seminar leader approaches, introduces himself and asks us if we would mind setting up chairs into a semicircle. It's all very relaxed at Co.Space at Biz Dojo, a hub for creativity enterprise. It not too long before other audience members arrive and the seminar begins.

“Stand up. Step left. Step left. Step right. Feel like you've been here before?” Yes, yes I do.  “Sit down.” 

For your future Guidance is run exactly as the press release states, as “a self-help seminar aimed at giving the participants the skills and knowledge to survive in the coming decades.” 

The seminar begins with us repeating the courses rhyming mantra (translated from the Swedish) then we kick off into a timeline for future events. Joel informs us we have the ability to predict the future better than we know and our abilities are put to the test.

We each get an opportunity to collect a note that has bold statements such as “The polar icecaps will disappear completely”, “Cure for Alzheimer's” or “Your relationship will end”. Our job is to place them on the timeline when we think they will happen.

Joel is very supportive of us. He tells us there is no right or wrong and the most important thing about making predictions is that sometimes you just have to commit to when they will happen. This is only the beginning of our journey. There is so much more ahead of us.  

Next is a look at time: how it is difficult to conceptualise. Joel explains it using many, many, many slides and examples. This culminates in us writing notes to our past and future selves who are on the ferris wheel of life. There's a “Futorial” role play set in an elevator, some Q & A, a call to the help line and the ball game.

There is also something very surprising and big that none of us had predicted. It brings a completely new, wonderful twist to the show and helps draw the seminar to a close.

Joel Baxendale gives a wonderful wry performance. He has wit, a self-effacing charm and knows how to play with an audience. The script is full of humour, with serious undertones about global issues, personal crisis and where we will end up as human beings.

Subversion is name of the game. It may seem simple but it's incredibly complex to take the conventional and use it to turn it on itself. Thankfully Binge Culture really know what they are doing.

This is a clever and most of all fun Fringe show. They create a relaxed an playful interactive experience. If you think that's not your cuppa don't be put off by this, even the most timid of participants would find it difficult not to feel comfortable and safe. 

Go and experience something outside the realms of the theatrical norm. If you do go, I predict your future will be much better for the experience.  
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 James McKinnon
 Kimberley Buchan