Institute is a visually captivating, emotionally driven performance, which openly invites its audience to consider what it means to care.
Gecko has a reputation for generating unique worlds, exquisite stage craft and breath-taking choreography. Institute uses movement, imagery and a range of choreographic styles to further explore the complexity of human behaviour. As well as being visually captivating, Institute is extremely intimate and often very funny. An incisive dissection of the way we nurture and care for ourselves and each other.
Amit Lahav asked the company, what does it mean to care for one another in a busy world of high-pressure targets and expectations? What does it mean to lose everything and everyone? Where do you turn?
Four male performers, portray four very familiar human beings, each driven by a desire to care and be cared for…
In Autumn 2016 Gecko developed a series of events and resources to allow audiences to further explore issues of mental well-being raised in Institute. We teamed up with Suffolk Mind as the lead partner on the project, and also worked with local mental health networks in each city that Institute toured to; Manchester, Southampton and Liverpool. The project was supported by a Wellcome Trust Award.
There were four stands to the project:
Something to talk about: at each venue we held a post-show discussion with a twist. Artistic Director Amit Lahav and one of our performers were joined by local experts working in the field of mental health to discuss the show’s themes, and answer questions from the audience.
Something to read: all audience members received a programme giving more information on the show and this project, as well as information on mental well-being and pathways to support locally.
Someone to talk to: after every performance there was someone from a local mental health support network ready to talk to audience members in the foyer, answering any questions they may have had.
Something to do: Gecko and Suffolk Mind created a unique workshop experience, combining their understanding and experiences of human emotional needs. Introducing the idea that we all have the same core emotional needs which must to be met to sustain healthy minds. At each venue we led a free 3.5 hour theatre based workshop creating a playful and safe environment in which we introduced, explored and discussed these ideas in relation to Institute, the characters and ourselves.
Following Gecko’s Wellcome project, Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education at Suffolk Mind, has written an article entitled ‘Physical Theatre Meets Mental Health’.
★★★★ THE FINANCIAL TIMES
“The choreography is wonderfully eclectic and expressive, constantly shifting styles to meet the moment, and performed by all four men with exquisite precision and feeling.” Sarah Hemming
★★★★ THE INDEPENDENT
“The attention to detail extends to all aspects of this beautifully realised production, from the theatrically inventive use of sets springing out of the cabinets to the now-ominous, now-jaunty soundtrack. All in all, it makes for a unique vision.” Holly Williams
★★★★★ SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“It is many years since I have seen anything like this quality of movement, imagination and theatricality.” Jill Sykes
★★★★★ BROADWAY BABY
“The individual attention to detail and accomplished ensemble playing make this piece required viewing.” Joshua Clarke
“Institute is a piece of physical and visual theatre capable of swallowing you whole. It asks you to trust it, to give yourself to it. And it’s all the more potent, all the more hypnotic, if you’re able to do it, if you let it take you.” Andrew Latimer
★★★★★ BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
“It brought a spontaneous standing ovation that was fully and richly deserved. A wonderful piece of thought provoking physical theatre that’s an absolute joy. Just go!” Robin Strapp
★★★★★ ALL EDINBURGH THEATRE
“It is compelling, captivating and ultimately forces the brain out of its comfort zone to try and understand the multiple layers of complexity that is a human life and a human mind. In an absorbing and magnetising production that confuses as much as it challenges, INSTITUTE is not a show that you’re ever likely to forget.” Susan Lowes
Set Design: Rhys Jarman and Amit Lahav
Lighting Design: Chris Swain and Amit Lahav
Original Music: Dave Price
Associate Director: Rich Rusk
Sound Designer: Nathan Johnson
Costume Supervisor: Amy Cook
Current Technical Stage Manager: Andres Velasquez
Current Company Stage Manager: Tanya Stephenson/Laura Hammond
Current Re-Lighter: Gareth Green
Musicians: Dave Price & James Alsopp
Solo Vocalist: Francois Testory
Ritual Dance Vocals: Chris Evans & Amit Lahav
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Read the specially created booklet that accompanied the Wellcome project below