Made In China's Gym Party is described in the publicity material as a razor sharp and slightly dark comic exploration of hopeless determination and the universal desire to win.
The narrative follows three intrepid contestants competing in a series of games that range from stupid to uncomfortable, arbitrary and heartbreaking. The contestants are fearless in their commitment to do whatever it takes to win. But they also wish to please the audience and influence the course of the show by sharing their stories and perspectives.
As the audience becomes more and more responsible for who wins, the punishments for the losers turn emotionally, then physically, violent. The audience find themselves voting for the contestants even though we know nothing about them, based simply on aesthetics and the information we are being fed.
Gym Party explores the psychology of winning and the nature of pride in all its triumphant and ugly incarnations. The show is about competition and the limits of spectatorship.
The show is created by Made In China with Christopher Brett Bailey and Ira Brand. Commissioned by and developed at Battersea Arts Centre. Co-commissioned by Pulse, Sprint, Mayfest and Sampled festivals. With support from the Almeida Theatre and National Theatre Studio. Funded by Arts Council England.
Gym Party tours to the following venues:
Traverse Edinburgh,4-5 March, 8pm
Embrace Arts, Leicester, 13 March, 8pm Folkestone Quarterhouse, Folkestone, 21 March, 7:30
TransForm, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, 28 March , 7:30pm
Derelict'14, Theatre 1, Media Factory, University of Central Lancashire. Preston, 2 April, 7:30pm
Manchester Royal Exchange, Manchester, 4 April, 7:30 & 5 April, 8pm
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, 23-24 April
Southstreet Arts Centre, Reading, 6 May, 8pm
Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester, 7 May, 8pm
Caravan International Showcase, Brighton Festival 11-13 May
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 16-17 May, 8pm
Mayfest, Bristol, 20 May
Pulse, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, 31 May
Ignite, Exeter Bikeshed, Exeter 4-5 June
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