Daniel Oliver

Daniel Oliver’s performance is based on a seance, taking on the role of the master of ceremonies/ game-show host he selects audience members to become members of the seance while those they know in the room are the ghosts. Oliver frames the piece around Lewisham Art house, both of the today and 6th September 1940 when Lewisham Way was hit by the first blitz barrage. He places us in post-apocalyptic future in which Chain was the victim of a bomb attack, then we are taken back to the present to today when we meet Candida, Jenny and participant Stephen Crowe through the seance participants, who then channel back to 1940. However, the seance is unsuccessful as no on ewas killed in that blitz attack. Oliver proclaims it a failure, the fault of Jenny Rush who gave ‘bomb’ as her Chain word. The subject of his work, this contemporay avant garde performance seance, destroyed, and then literally destroyed by his acted out explosion, the ‘bomb’ made real in the from of a empty beer bottle labelled ‘bomb’.

Oliver’s master-host character creates this narrative of destruction across multiple realities layered through different times. He provokes our fear, unease and awkwardness focring us to face possible danger as a group. The vehicle of the seance challenges our belief system whist the obvious fakeness wills us together. His erratic behaviour and seriousness pushes us together, his cliched character traits and catchphrases establish a familarity yet also underwrite the performative nature of the work. He says this is a seance and an avant garde performance work.

The group faces the threat of iminent apocalypse and the post-apocalypse as well as our reality living with the history of World War Two and its destruction of London. The work collapses these different times together suggesting the fragility of our everyday and our proximity to destruction which also leads to a heightened togetherness and comaradie.


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