The Chairs 2016

In Spring 2016, Extant remounted its production of The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco, originally conceived in 2014, for a tour that travelled to venues in Harlow, Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Overview

An elderly couple frantically prepare chairs to welcome a procession of invisible guests to their isolated home - an uncertain space where anarchy, ageing and anxiety collide. Who is the mysterious orator they all await? And what will their world-changing message be? 

The Chairs is an absurdist farce wirtten by Eugene Ionesco, first performed in 1952 at the Theatre Lancry in Paris, and widely regarded as a classic. Extant's production of this groundbreaking yet rarely performed play, in a translation by Martin Crimp, incorporated audio description into the live performance as part of a unique soundscape. The retour travelled to four UK venues during April 2016: Harlow Playhouse, mac Birmingham, The Lowry and Stratford Circus Arts Centre for a limited run of 8 shows.

All performances were accompanied by a Touch Tour and post-show Q&A's, as well as drama workshops that introduced visually impaired audience members to some of the key themes of the play. Alongside the tour Extant worked with the Audience Agency to conduct a research project on engagement with visually impaired audience members and the relationship between audiences, participation and venues.

If you would like to learn more about this production, look at photos and read some of the reviews, then please visit the separate microsite for The Chairs.

A wide shot of the stage and set for The Chairs, with the Old Man and Old Woman standing either side looking towards the Orator, centre.