Video of Performance Premiere at Berliner Festspiele, July 4th 2016.
An undercover police officer disguised as a clown, a man in drag losing his high heels in a riot, trees planted in the middle of a motorway, the audience invading the stage and collectively killing their fear... The autobiographical lecture performance “We Have Never Been Here Before” turns the theatre into an assembly of hope in the dark and asks how we can remain empowered when our worlds are being ripped apart and life itself is threatened with extinction.
For over a decade, The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii) has brought artists and activists together to carry out theatrical direct actions across Europe. But for its 18th experiment, the collective retreated for a moment to the relative safety of the stage to collectively ask some disturbing questions about how to change our world. Sitting uncomfortably between witty confessional, popular education and an absurd rehearsal for the apocalypse, “We Have Never Been Here Before” is a journey of empowerment in a time when hope seems so slippery. Do we have the courage to take life so seriously that we are prepared to lose everything in order to protect it?
Performed by John Jordan, labelled a “domestic terrorist” by the UK police and “magician of rebellion” by the press, the show is combined with a two-day workshop run by Labofii co-founder Isabelle Fremeaux, which asks: “What holds us back from action that is appropriate to the scale of the social and ecological crisis unfolding today?
Conceived by The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (Labofii)
Performance John Jordan
Workshop Isabelle Fremeaux
Live soundtrack Jack Jordan
Design Audrey Bouvier & Jonathan Vidal (of MIT Collective)
Film Kyp Kyprianou
Directorial advice Sascha Flocken
Light Olivier Bourguignon
Commissioned for the Berliner Festspiele, Foreign Affairs Festival.