Wednesday, September 28

FR (Friendship Ritual) – Camden Fringe Online

Offering something a little different to the norm, Friendship Ritual is a short experiential audio work to share with a friend. It is a ritual which requires each listener to think, reflect and feel.

Each participant has an audio of their own. The audio opens by framing the contracts people make to each other before guiding listeners through a series of interactions, first with the ‘self’ and then with each other. It is spoken in a meditative tone of voice and is positivity focused.

How often do we look at our friendships in detail? How often do we let our friends know we love them? How often do we have time with our friends to just play?

Opening with a feelgood dance, participants take a moment to scan how their body feels afterwards and then observe how their friend looks. Does the friend look happy? Is their hair a little tousled from the dance? Looking at each other with headphones in offers a different kind of interaction. There is an emphasis on noticing, observing and inferring before spoken engagement within (FR) Friendship ritual.

The audio moves between engaging with the self and engaging with the partner. It is focused on shared experiences and activities and takes time to consider the impact of those on the self and on the partner, giving regular directions of when and how to interact.

The purpose of the ritual is to make space to spend time with and celebrate others in our lives in ways that we may not normally do.

Between moments of silence and pause (to fetch resources, calibrate timings or reflect at certain points of the experience) there are also a lot of cheeky winks, movement and guided exchanges between participants. Friends find themselves moving stealthily to hide objects and be playful with each other and smiling at each other to connect the individual audio experiences each is having. The experience does have the fun factor if you’re a playful person!

Whilst the concept is commendable and positive, (FR) Friendship is likely to appeal to a niche audience. It is helpful to check-in on how it feels to smile, breathe, laugh and play together, but what listeners gain from the experience is dependent on the kind of relationship the two participants have in the first place, why, and the kind of person they are when they come to the experience.

Participants may be more inclined to share the experience with childhood friends or people they’ve met in casual settings rather than with friends who bond over certain shared interests or work friends, for example.

Showing as part of the Camden Fringe Festival until 31st August 2022, follow Remote Viewing on Instagram for information.

Reviewer: Ezzy LaBelle

Reviewed: 24th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★