Inspired by the self-aggrandising of boxers at a pre-fight weigh in, Slap Talk is a linguistic version of the fight itself and a reflection upon violence present in everyday language.
Intimate, unsettling and bitingly humorous, this durational work sees Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse address each other, and the audience, via a live feed from a camera to a monitor. The relentless bombardment of violence portrayed by the media is interrogated and escalated as the performers rant, insult and threaten each other in a cross between a political debate and a 24-hour news channel.
Over six hours, an autocue scrolls a continuous barrage drawn from daily life: a couple bickering, the hard sell of a shopping channel, the anger of the fire-and-brimstone preacher. As the rapidfire slanging match accelerates and exhausts, the combatants veer off-script and words are emptied of meaning, Action Hero invite us to step out of the ring and contemplate our own collusion in language-as-violence.
Co-Created, Written & Performed by:
Gemma Paintin & James Stenhouse
Supported by – Slap Talk is created, written and performed by Gemma Paintin & James Stenhouse. Developed with the support of Caravan and BIOS, Athens. Slap Talk began in The Darkroom, China Plate’s development space for writing and performance. Supported by Theatre Bristol’s Company Producer, Mel Scaffold.
Image by – Action Hero