Make the Call with zin

Article by Cassandra Ramsay @cassramsay

zin, founded and directed by Harriet Gilies and Roslyn Helper, was created with the intention of combining immersive, visceral and hybrid-art elements in intimate experiences. Well, more accurately the power duo realised they could get entry free into certain festivals if you offered art in return, but as is the way with creative folk, one idea led to another, and another, and another, and has reached their latest work, Make the Call.


Make the Call is a one-on-one work where the audience receive a phone call instead of a ticket, and are taken around the streets of Newcastle, having a conversation with the artist. The idea was inspired simply enough – “I was sitting on a bus one day and every single person was on their phone” says Harriet. “I thought, ‘imagine if this was art and one of these people were having a full on art attack and no one else had any idea.”

Make the Call then had as a creative development as part of Theatre Works’s Encounter(s) festival in 2012. The two artists have since pulled, torn, prodded and rebuilt the work with a simpler and more sophisticated structure.

“In order to keep the role of the audience at the centre of the work, we realised we had to make the backbone of the piece as simple and flexible as possible, which is probably the biggest transformation in the work since it began” Harriet explains. The audience are thrown into a much more explicitly active role with zin’s new work.

“We really want to create worlds or opportunities where people can act bravely and push themselves to be present… to make the call about what happens in our performances and in the world.”

Audiences looking for something intimate, unique and slightly nomadic might want to Make the Call at this year’s 2013 Crack Theatre Festival. Good conversation and new perspectives await.


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