Would you like to sing a karaoke duet with a soldier? Well now you can! A project known as ‘The Soldier’s Song’, the concept of Renny O’Shea the Artistic Director of Quarantine, one of the UK’s most successful and highly regarded contemporary theatre companies, is an event currently being held at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery under theAdvertisement
The Soldier’s Song is an installation made with and about currently serving soldiers which allows us to consider our connection with someone who might fight in our name. Visitors to the event are invited to an on screen video karaoke duet with a selection of recordings from soldiers. This all takes place in a soundproof booth installed in the rotunda of the ground floor of the Harris Museum & Art Gallery.
Renny O’shea, explained; “over the last few years I’ve pondered the wars we are engaged in and started to doubt my certainties of opinion, begun to question the sometimes lazy thinking that forms them. I wanted clear well-formed answers. When I began making the piece I didn’t know any soldiers. I set out to meet some and talk – with no idea where those conversations would take me. As I started asking questions, the casual judgments I had been making were replaced with something more complex.
The piece isn’t exactly neutral – how could it be – but audience reaction has embraced all shades of political opinion. At the end of the process, I have far more questions than I started with – and I hope I have provoked some of the same questions in the viewers”
Soldiers featured in the installation have served in Iraq, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Belize, USA, Canada, South Africa, Kosovo, the Falklands, Oman, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Germany and Kenya. Many of the soldiers are part of the Band of the Kings Division, housed at Weeton Barracks in Preston, and some of them served in the second Gulf War, of which 2013 marks the tenth anniversary year.
Go along to the Harris and find out what this project is all about; you won’t be disappointed and maybe you’ll feel the urge to be a songbird yourself…in absolute privacy of course!
The Soldier’s Song event is being held at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery from Friday 12th April to Saturday 20th April 2013 open until 7pm each day.
Further details can be found on the Quarantine website or their Facebook Page or Twitter @QtineMcr and #singwithasoldier.
Review by Paul D. Swarbrick & Gillian A. Lawson