If your words were the only thing a little girl could hang on to in this maddening world, what would you say to her? That is the question that Charlie, an interactive performance piece by artist Victoria Chen, would like to pose to audiences. But rather than just make you think, Charlie makes it highly visceral by turning you into a participant (the only one, in fact), and not a mere observer.
Presented in collaboration with the Bhumi Collective from Nov 20-Dec 7 at the Goodman Arts Centre Music Studio, Charlie (making its Singapore debut) is best described as a 15-minute one-on-one theatrical experience. Channeling a child in a blank slate, the titular 12-year-old Charlie—performed by Chen—was brought up to believe that danger lurks beyond her room and is just now preparing to leave her safe confines to be integrated into the world; and you are now tasked with the daunting job of unveiling the world for her in your own words.
As you’d expect, each session is highly personalized based on what you say to her, although you will be given some simple guidelines by ushers to ensure the interaction remains safe. Participants are also free to leave at any time, in case things get too uncomfortable.
If the concept of Charlie feels strangely disconcerting and disjointed, that might just be the whole point. But based on reviews when performed at the Edinburgh Student Arts Festival and the On the Rocks Festival in 2017, this is one performance you know will be worth your time.