The elusive genius of Move

21 March 2016

by Alice Saville

Who are the hardest working people at the NSDF? The Tech Crew, “Nippy” cabs and dauntless Sarah from the Management Team have all got a look-in for this most sought-after of accolades. But most impressive of all are the cast and crew of Move, who are mounting an astonishing 24 performances throughout this year's NSDF.

Spurning the plush-seated, bourgeois comforts of Scarborough's established theatre spaces, Move shakes an audience out of their complacency by exposing them to new scenes and new encounters. A seagull dive bomb. A drizzly mist of transcendental intensity. Subtly unsettling encounters with eye-rolling bus drivers and hoodie-wearing embryonic thesps. A white coach becomes a monolithic meditation to the nature of movement, a monument to transience. Thrown in amongst these experiences in a taut, 20-minute experiential performance, you're forced to consider the endlessly permeable boundaries between performer and performance, signifier and signified.

Part of Move's genius is the almost complete seamlessness with which its cast permeate the festival environment. We've spent days trying to chase down its creators. But they've refused to submit the merest scrap of personal information to either NSDF or NOFF, citing the pernicious quality of biographical leakage in our post-transmedia age. Wild rumours circulate about their identity: we've heard that their founder grew up inside a glass-walled durational performance chamber in a Berlin art gallery, before an internship as Yoko Ono's grape peeler. One rival young student company described them as “incredibly pretentious theatre nerds who sat at the back of lectures, re-enacting Artaud dramas using condiment packets” and – more simply – “wankers”.

But although they might not cut the mustard with all their peers, no one could deny that the piece was deeply moving. As one source said, “When it was finished I was in a completely different place: mentally, psychologically, teleologically, and quite literally.” Whoever they are, these hardworking festival laureates have created sheer poetry in motion.  

Photo credit: Flickr