The Myth of the Porter’s Mess Room in 1894
Myths can create a sense of unity, but when do they create blindness – moving into the territory of the ‘cult’? When does the psychological phenomenon of ‘Group think’ – become dangerous?
What really happened in 1894 in the Porter’s Mess Room? Interweaving fact and fiction from the room and site itself (BAC’s Town Hall), we have created a myth, a sacred story, that will be a starting point for this immersive performance.
In the dark recesses of the attic space, sacred servants formed the Clan of Tall Pointy Hat people. They wore unified costumes (performers and audience), enacting esoteric rituals through movement and sound entrapped in the recesses of the small attic space. Their chants are led by the council’s motto: “Not for me, not for you, but for us.”
The audience and the performers wear 1 meter long Tall Pointy Hats, unifying them through costume in the same ‘sacred story’. The costume also transforms how the audience and performers move: a Tall Pointy Hat will bump into ceiling, walls, and each other. The hat embodies such associations as the dunce cap, and the cap from the Klu Klux Klan.
Devised and performed by:
Sally E. Dean in collaboration with musician/performer Esbjörn Wettermark and hat designer/performer Sandra Arroniz Lacunza
Previously presented as part of Freshly Scratched at Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK (October 2011)
Upcoming performance dates and venues to be confirmed.