The Incidental PlaysText
The Incidental Plays are on ongoing series of miniature texts for performance, to be performed or simply imagined by you, in a specified public place, for an audience that does not realise it is an audience.
By turns mundane, humorous, improbable and fantastical, The Incidental Plays an attempt to create a gently subversive intervention in the busyness of our cities. An intervention that is perhaps both real and imagined.
The Incidental Plays were first created as part of Forest Fringe’s Paper Stages at the Edinburgh Festival 2013. Later versions of the project have been created for Spike Island Gallery in Bristol, the second UK-wide edition of Paper Stages, FUSE at Vancouver Art Gallery.
The most recent version of the project is Six Duets, originally created for Forest Fringe tour of China in 2015.
‘Throughout these fragments lingers the ghost of intimacy, often longed for or obstructed. The awkward waiting for a text message, the figures quietly catching one another’s eyes, the individuals at the crossing staring over the road at one another, unable to bridge the gap. They speak of an inability to connect with the people with whom we share our streets, an inability that is fittingly reflected in the concept of an unwitting audience and performance pieces that cannot quite be performed. Perhaps the performative element of the exquisite pieces that Field has wrought is not as solid or straightforward as a simple following of cues and instructions. Rather they might be viewed as a beautifully insubstantial set of blueprints for retracing the city, for challenging the urban space’s inscribed values of capitalist acquisition and false intimacy. It is rebellion through the pursuit of materially worthless beauty; revolution via the subversive act of aimlessness. Incidental, but incidentally vital.’ – Catherine Love
This is Tomorrow
‘The best works in the book recognise language as a performance in itself, with a central, imaginative role to play. Andy Field’s ‘Commutism’ is billed as a set of plays to perform on public transport for the beneficial bemusement of other passengers. If you were able to deliver the scenarios with deadpan sincerity (reconstructing a torn up £5 note using Sellotape on the tube; chasing a bus frantically but then glumly refusing to get on) they’d act as haunting little hiccups on the daily commute, but Field’s plays are more than suggestions for future events. They are beautiful reads, small vignettes of poignant absurdity that are as vivid and well-observed when read, imagined and stashed away in your pocket, as they might become on the tube carriage, staged for real.’ – Maggie Gray