Fifty years after 1967’s Summer of Love, the next generation of culture makers presented a immersive promenade exhibition around the Hall’s unusual and often unseen spaces as part of the Summer of Love: Revisited festival.
Under the Counter saw students from University of the Arts London take inspiration from the transformative counterculture era in order to offer an international perspective in shifting cultural norms through a mix of live experiences and presentations that feature installation, theatre, music and much more.
The nine pieces showcased as part of the event are the result of six months’ work from 50 students from Central Saint Martins studying BA & MA Performance Design and Practice, Foundation in Performance and MA Character Animation, working from the performance brief:
‘…To work in small groups, drawn and mixed from the collaborating courses, to make a series of performances for unusual and often unseen spaces of The Royal Albert Hall based on the theme of Counter Culture. The performances will be made for a specific location…’
Event producer Ed Cobbold talked us through some of the artworks en route:
Inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s appearance at the Hall as part of the International Poetry Incarnation event in 1965, the students created their very own happening in the North Circle Bar.
Audience members were served a three course experience consisting of live performance poetry by two surreal waiters and interactive art where answers to questions could be spelt out by using dried pasta letters. Check out some of the audience’s interactive artwork here .
One of the Hall’s fine state rooms (Prince of Wales Room), had a makeover when students transformed the space as part of their performance _Occupied. The room was taken over in the style of a sit-in protest, complete with banners, sleeping bags and general detritus. Audience members got to hear the characters’ stories about why they were protesting and their thoughts about today’s housing crisis._
BAMBOO-MUSTARD AND THE SOUND TRIBE
The audience got the chance to make their own music with performer Adam Paroussos’ installation Bamboo-Mustard and the Sound Tribe. Cocooned within an evocative space under the Hall’s famous stage, Paroussos invited the audience to pluck and twang various instruments, including one made from a tree branch to immerse themselves in a new sound world.
Take a look at more photos from the show:
All photos: Andy Paradise