The First Bad Man – Pan Pan Theatre
30 – 31 July, 8:00 PM (IST)
“a two-part performance broadcast in 360 based on a reading of THE FIRST BAD MAN, a novel by Miranda July.”
Welcome to the strangest book club you’ll ever be part of. Four people meet in Wesley House, Ranelagh each week to discuss one particular book. The novel in question is ‘The First Bad Man’ by Miranda July and the members of the club meet to slowly tease it apart. They discuss the characters and their motivation, along with the writer herself. They also act out sections of the novel and even indulge in some cosplay! As a viewer of this work, you will be the fifth member of the club as you sit in the centre of the group, seeing all around you. The work is shot in 360 Video, allowing the viewer to be immersed in the world!
Miranda July is probably best known as a director, and her most recent film Kajillionaire (2020) was well-received by critics. She is also an actor, performance artist and writer. Her novel ‘The First Bad Man’ was published in 2015 and received much acclaim for her unusual view of the world… but whatever you do, don’t call her work ‘quirky‘.
The film could be viewed with a virtual reality headset if you had the necessary equipment, although it was also available to view on your tablet, laptop or even your phone! This allowed the viewer to see the full 360-degree spectrum. You could focus on the shoes of the book club members or the roof of the hall where they met. As the viewer was at the centre of the group, you had to spin around to see who was talking and also to see the reactions of the other members of the group. While I’ve seen this technology used for music videos or other shorts, this was probably the longest piece I’ve seen shot in 360 video. One fascinating sequence had Dylan Tighe travelling through the streets of Dublin on his moped, allowing the viewer to see the buildings and traffic of the city!
From the list of credits below, there is no writer listed and the work may have been created from Pan Pan’s technique of workshopping ideas and improvisation. The characters of the piece were well developed and the group dynamic turned feisty on some occasions! It’s another step into the unknown from a theatre company that is rapidly expanding its vocabulary to film and beyond.
Director – Gavin Quinn
Designer – Aedín Cosgrove
DOP and Editor – Ros Kavanagh
Performers – Luka Costello, Dylan Tighe, Genevieve Giuffre and Grace Morgan
Music – Simon Kenny
Producer – Gwen Van Spijk
Movement Director – Katherine O’Malley
Stage Manager – Clare Howe
Assistant Director – Grace Morgan
Graphic Designer – Gareth Jones
Camera Assistant – Ronan Nissenbaum
Sound Supervisor – Jimmy Eadie
Sound Recording – Rachel Conlon and Leon Henry