Are you here the whole time? / You can’t step outside this square?! / Do you stay here overnight?
A key condition of the premise for Deliverance is that we don’t leave the space for ten days. We haven’t left since we started, and won’t leave until the end. Further to this, not only do we not leave, but anything material we are given also cannot leave the space once it enters. This means much of the piece becomes about how we manage our space and our stuff. We have no rubbish bins, no clear out at the end of each day, and so we must do something with the packaging of food and drink and toiletries, the old paper plates, plastic forks, drink bottles, baby wipes, banana peels, muesli bar wrappers, etc.. In the corner we have dug a divett in the ground for compost, and every day after breakfast, part of our chores has become to ‘wash the trash’: with a bucket of soapy water, we scrub and rinse the previous day’s rubbish, and hang it out to dry. Now we really like showing off our clean rubbish!
We have tried to come up with imaginative ways of re-using the rubbish: we have hung up our bottles from the tree like a mobile, made papier mâché from paper and cardboard waste, woven rope out of used baby wipes, and taped together a makeshift tarpaulin from old chip packets, plastic wrappings, and the like. It has been a very interesting experience to have the things you would usually discard with little thought, instead building up around you. Visually it is quite powerful to see how many empty bottles, how many paper plates and plastic packets accumulate even after only a few days.
By and large, we have suffered very little on account of the physical confinement. Before we began we thought a lot about the body in space: What will it be like not to move through space in a vehicle or elevator for ten days? What will it be like not to walk long distances? To not be able to run? We developed an exercise routine before we began that could work in the space - yoga and a Jane Fonda workout - and generally each day we are very active, pottering around, doing our chores, rearranging the space to accommodate new things as they arrive - a couch, an umbrella, a red carpet.
[Deliverance at the Adelaide Fringe, March 2012]