Brendon Bussy

*G Force* make Normal Noise at Edge of Wrong

Posted in Sound, Theatre, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on March 9, 2013

Last weekend at the Edge of Wrong four young deaf performers known as G Force presented Normal Noise. A performance resulting from a workshop I’d run with them.

Their mission: to present their full sensory experience of a ‘normally noisy’ world.ย  So that a hearing audience might think again about the sensation of hearing.

And they were a hit which made me very (very) happy. And proud ๐Ÿ™‚

Applause for G Force at Edge Of Wrong. On left is Tshepiso Betty Mokoena - our amazing Sign Language interpreter for the evening.

Applause for G Force at Edge Of Wrong. On the left is Tshepiso Betty Mokoena – our extraordinary Sign Language interpreter for the evening. (pic: Niklas Zimmer)

At some point a video will hopefully become available. In the mean time, here is an account in words with pictures by the versatile Niklas Zimmer.

Warm up (pic: Niklas Zimmer)

Warming up. Apart from Lindokuhle (far right), they’ve all performed before as part of FTH:K’s theatre programme. But tonight’s performance is a little different.
G Force are (from left): Simthembile Meetsheni, Nkqubela Jojo, Yazeed Moosa, Lindokuhle Shumani.
(pic: Niklas Zimmer)

The Performance:

[Arriving audience members are each given two sets of disposable bamboo chopsticks still in wrappers]

Three men sit in a circle on one side playing a game with chopsticks – tapping each others sticks in a rhythmic cycle.

A man arrives wearing a hard hat, carrying a plastic bag of groceries and a soccer ball. He sits down, takes out a pack of cards and starts shuffling them loudly.

The three boys notice him, give each other a wink and creep up to the man. They whack him on the hat with their chopsticks and spring back out of reach. He’s pissed off but goes back to shuffling. They hit him again…and again, until he gets more and more pissed until…. he blows up. They all stand together and give three loud shouts, the last sustained.

Then they stop. Freeze. Sit down.

No hard feelings, hard hat man distributes small boxes of juice complete with fancy straws. They all imbibe with much relish and then start fiddling with their boxes, which then become… cell phones.

Hard hat man is given a hard time.

Hard hat man is given a hard time. (pic Niklas Zimmer)

Walking they circle and rant on their phones in a parody of irate (talking & hearing) business men. Then two start bouncing a ball and beckon for the others to join but they are too involved in their absurd phone calls.

Eventually one, whilst talking, starts absent mindedly rummaging through the grocery bag where he finds a toy. It squeaks! He freaks and throws the toy which then becomes part of the ball game…. until the ball rolls, stopping at the feet of the remaining cell phone man. He stops, looks curiously at the ball and then has a brain wave.

Cellphone aerial (straw) becomes ball blower.

All four on floor now trying to move the ball around with puffs of air….. but eventually this becomes too frustrating and a blow up results – they stand and give three shouts, the last an extended wheeze.

They freeze. Then sit down.

Hard hat man distributes packets of potato crisps and they munch happily. Hard hat man also gets the audience to join in by distributing crisps to them.

Everyone munching happily (audience perhaps a little cautiously).

Hard hat man sits down then slumps down for a happy nap [in this performance he lay down on the squeeky toy!].

But the other men get mischievous and start dropping single crisps onto him… then gradually increase the amounts until….blow up! Man leaps up and the (by now expected) three shouts commence!

Freeze. Then relax. And hard hat man rummages in bag and distributes chopsticks (disposable and in wrappers).

All four stand facing the audience and demonstrate how to unwrap and separate the chopstick that they were given as they arrived. [The removal of the wrappers is done in a winking, sensual and mildly lascivious manner :)]

Click…click, cccclicck, as the audience breaks each chopstick pair apart.

The men each insert one chopstick between their teeth and play it with a chopstick in each hand. The audience follow suit.

Music for chopsticks: Touch and hearing are blurred when a chopstick is inserted between the teeth and then tapped.

Music for chopsticks: Touch and hearing are blurred when a chopstick is inserted between the teeth and then tapped. (pic: Niklas Zimmer)

Weird tapping chopstick music ensues until the performance is drawn to an end and the audience applaud.

Finally G Force give their G Force cheer (four hands together in the SSL* symbol for the letter G) and I and our interpreter Betty, start facilitating questions and discussion.


Edge of Wrong 2013_Brendon Bussy_Normal Noise_pic by Niklas-Zimmer_5

Me ‘warming up’ the group by acting like an utter nana ๐Ÿ™‚
(pic: Niklas Zimmer)

*South African Sign Language.

Many thanks again to Edge of Wrong (Now in its 11th year), especially Morten Minothi Kristiansen and Simen Skoe. And Dominican School for the Deaf at Wittebome for generously allowing me to interact with their students as well as turn their school hall into a performance laboratory!

4 Responses

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  1. tshepisoblog said, on March 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Reblogged this on tshepisoblog's Blog and commented:
    Phenomenal art by Brendon Bussy and the G Force :-).

  2. Morten Minothi Kristiansen said, on March 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    An absolute treat to have the G Force perform on EDGE OF WRONG! Thanks allot again!

    • brendon said, on March 10, 2013 at 11:14 am

      a pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚ G Force are very happy. And of course thank YOU!

  3. […] my method is slowly evolving into a springboard for physical theater with madcap tendencies such as Normal Noise , a performance I work-shopped earlier this year with young deaf performances, and even experiments […]

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