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Super Night Shot – Sally Thomson

Super Night Out!

Theatre has evolved over the decades and Super Night Shot is one example of the advancements in entertainment and how technology is edging its way in to our theatre experience.

As you arrive in the Studio Underground in the State Theatre Centre of WA, a staff member offering you a party favour greets you. Immediately, I know that this will be no ordinary theatre experience. We are ushered into rows waiting for the actors to arrive, so we can cheer madly while throwing streamers at them as they run through us with hand held cameras, the fact that two out of four actors are wearing nothing but underwear seems to go unnoticed amidst the cheering and celebration, of what, the audience is unsure.

Super Night Shot is a “one hour multi screened video event” that begins an hour before we arrive. The actors, (The Gob Squad) consisting of Matt Hand, Erik Pold, Sarah Thom and Simon Will, all carrying hand held video cameras set out into the streets of Perth to capture the film event. The stage consisted of four black blocks and four large projector screens on the back of the stage. The film begins with a briefing on the nights mission, “to change the world”. With synchronized watches the four performers are given roles for when they set out onto the streets. Simon will be the hero, Matt will be in charge of Simon’s publicity, Erik will audition people on the streets of Northbridge to find someone to kiss Simon at the end of the film and Sarah will search for a location that will make the greatest impact. 

The next hour is filled with the unexpected, from an impromptu rap performance by two members to a masked dance where each member had a different animal mask on all proving to be comic and engaging.
All members interact with the public in their various roles and proved to be quick thinkers when confronted with the various citizens of Perth who proved to be unexpectedly honest about their views and opinions.
The entire performance was on the screen with all four screens playing simultaneously. The squad, seated in the back of the theatre during the playback for the audience, and indicating to the sound manager when to put their volume up when they appear to have an interesting section of film. At certain times there would be no sound and just music playing which added a new, perspective to the experience though sometimes it was unclear as to the purpose of it.

The amazing timing was noticed when they all stopped to dance in unison, while being in completely different parts of Northbridge.

The film climaxed with a more than awkward kiss for Simon in a rabbit mask and a man willing to “kiss a rabbit”, and ended with the Gob Squad returning to the theatre running through a crowd of cheering people throwing streamers, with the audience all eagerly trying to spot themselves in the film.

All up the experience was enthralling and engaging, with an imaginative concept and people of Perth proving to be unpredictable extras in the film, a strong piece in the Perth International Arts Festival for 2012 and proving that the “war on anonymity…” was valid as “…without that there can be no incredible”.