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In Many Hands

Kate McIntosh (Belgium)

15 October – 17 October 2019
1.30pm, 5pm & 8.30pm
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Broad St
Birmingham, B1 2EP

Part of Fierce Festival 2019


Recent visitors to Kate McIntosh’s works have been involved in many ways. Some broke apart domestic objects and made new inventions from the fragments (“Worktable” installation 2011), while other audiences examined a kind of collectivity-throwing furniture across the stage, uniting as an orchestra of rain-makers, collecting their own bacteria, and imagining themselves as birds (“All Ears” performance 2013).

The invitations in these works sprang from Kate’s ongoing curiosity to bodily involve an audience, and to imagine a social space where individuals might explore their own agency as well as a communality.

Her new project “In Many Hands” wades further into these experiences. With “In Many HandsKate dives into the tactile and the multi-sensory, inviting the audience to test, touch, listen, search and sniff. This project steps away from the stage-instead bringing the audience into a series of aesthetic sensory situations, and inviting them to experiment with materials and encounter physical phenomena themselves.

If one really does learn-by-doing, then what’s learned here is a sensitisation of nerves, a tuning of attention, a priming of curiosity. “In Many Hands” is part laboratory, part expedition, part meditation-as it unfolds, visitors take their time to engage and explore as they wish, following their noses and curiosities. As always, Kate’s work is guided by her ongoing fascinations with the misuse of objects, playfulness with the audience and an off-beat humour. 

“After about 45 minutes, there is probably no one in the room whose hands are not completely filthy… A rare and wonderful offer to concentrate on yourself without losing sight of your fellow human beings.”

The full Fierce Festival 2019 programme will be announced in June.


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