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The most exciting part for me before entering the performance was to experience something live and up close and personal; this is exactly what ‘Smash It Up’ provided. In May 2013, the mural, representing the Chartist movement in Newport in 1839 was torn down; this mural represented so much for the people of Newport. Mr & Mrs Clark are now demonstrating how it felt to lose something so precious in this thought provoking show. The performance was engaging, inspiring and had a liberating quality. At first, the audience walks into the theatre and we were directed and encouraged to walk around the stage to view the objects that were placed on the tables. The safety tape was restrictive; we had no other option but to walk around the stage and engage with one another and instantly came into contact with the performers.

The mixture and use of both live performance and pre-recorded work live in Newport city centre was exciting and beautifully documented. What drew me in was the use of words, Gareth Clark who was the main speaker during the performance was engaging and the focus was extraordinary. The use of an audience member whilst sustaining poise was interesting and drew attention to the focus on how we are consumed by materialistic objects. But why? We need to consider what is really important in life.

The performance included a clever use of media; the footage showcasing the destruction of art, thus creating new art. What was interesting and moving was how they had protested vigorously on the streets of Newport; these clips were powerful and demonstrated their commitment. The performance showed how much work, time and effort had been put into the entire production. My favourite moments of the work were the dancing of Marega Palser; her movement and direct engagement with the broken objects was alluring yet dangerous. Her focus was mesmerizing and the choreography was beautifully elegant.

Overall the set had an appealing yet vulnerable aesthetic. The sound and lighting were clever and thought through; enhancing the subjective qualities of the performance. Helen Pickering did a fantastic job with the lighting. The set was clever and well-presented but soon became a destructive mess that captured the movement and heart of destruction in art. This performance was definitely worth a watch. “Every act of creation is an act of destruction.”- Pablo Picasso. The use of references and contextual aesthetic to the history of art and other happenings was captivating and created a sense of realness. It demonstrated their dedication and how much thorough research had been used to create this powerful and moving performance. When art gets destroyed or most recently funding in the arts are cut then what is the future of art? The arts are the life and soul of any community therefore we must fight for its survival.


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