Were you really completely naked? / I could never be naked in front of so many strangers. / Aren’t you the naked people? Why aren’t you still naked?
We began with nothing, and so when we walked into the space we were completely naked. The nudity was modest - we covered our bits with our hands - and not gratuitous or for its own sake, but in order that we could properly fulfil our opening commitment to begin with nothing.
The nudity is something people have fixated on - we’ve had people come on day five and expect to find us still nude; people find our blog by Googling our names + ‘naked play Adelaide’; and we had a TV news station ask to film a ‘dress rehearsal’ they would ‘shoot strategically’ - but in reality we were clothed within the first 10 minutes of 240-hour performance. ‘We weren’t naked,’ we took to saying. ‘We just didn’t have any clothes.’
Having said that, we’ve found that the nudity significantly strengthens the piece conceptually and feels integral: in beginning naked we make a conspicuously vulnerable opening gesture that immediately activates people’s empathy and engagement with the project; and for us personally, privately, the nudity is an important freeing experience in the opening moments in that once we find ourselves standing naked and with nothing, we feel we have nowhere to hide and must then wholeheartedly place our faith in the piece.
[Deliverance at the Adelaide Fringe, March 2012]