The Show (2018)
Open duration solo performance-installation for intimate space and small audience
A solo performer stands and walks behind a curtain as a small audience await an anticipated theatrical reveal. When this visual spectacle never arrives, the drama of ‘the show’ plays out in the subtle tension and power play between spectator and performer who cannot see one another.

Images from the Slade Grad Degree Show 2018.

Image credit:
Zinna Mac-Eochaidh

‘Rowland Hill’s performance The Show is an exercise in high drama which is arresting in its simplicity. The work reduces the act of performing to its bare bones. Upon entering a small dark room, you are surrounded on all sides by a glimmering gold curtain raised a few inches from the floor, to reveal a pair of black stilettos attached to an unknown person on the other side. Much like the big reveal in the Wizard of Oz and the fantasy that precedes it; the dark glamour that Hill projects removes us from everyday truths in a way only true theatre can.’

- Elephant, 10 Artists to Watch, July 2018

Comments from audience members:

“Brilliant. Like being in Suspiria.”

“(An) unexpected…visceral…intimate, tense, unsettling work, weirdly sensual…Usually power is in the hands of the viewer, but with this piece you are totally in charge. My lasting thoughts are about control, how you had dominance over your own body and in the end, mine too. Brilliant.”

“…the simplicity and effortlessness of what you did to create such a strong effect was brilliant.”

“Being held behind a curtain felt like I was catching a private moment, peeking on a state of anxiety that was not initially mine, but through viewing soon became my own. I started thinking about my own body as a woman and how I inhabit it, how society views female bodies and who we give the “gaze” to.”