Chase Scenes is exactly what it says it is: 60 scenes in which performers create a variety of famous and original chase scenes, filmed lived onstage and projected onto screens at the back wall. No setup, no climax, just three women in a relay running from a whole host of changing unseen pursuers. Presented as part of Summerhall’s laudable CanadaHub season, Chase Scenes feels like a combination of performance art, physical theatre and live cinema thrown together onstage. Sometimes funny, frequently unsettling and eventually exhausting for actors and audience alike, it’s a solid concept that doesn’t quite manage to sustain its hour-long slot.
Sometimes funny, frequently unsettling and eventually exhausting
Created and performed by Ming Hon, with Hilary Anne Crist and Alexandra Elliott also performing, the trio of women alternate as camera operators and the various pursued women in front of the camera. Using every trick in the theatrical and cinematic book, with the help of some simple props, clever camera angles and an ever-shifting lighting design the trio of performers demonstrate a mini masterclass in media manipulation.
It’s striking to see the piece operating on multiple levels, not just the onstage action and the film on screen but also the various filmic influences and references that they make and comment on throughout the show. Though we never see a pursuer, all too often the gut response is to assume it’s not some CGI explosion or a monster but a man. In a Festival full of responses to #MeToo, Chase Scenes comes at it sideways using the classic trick that anything the audience can imagine is worse than anything the artist can hope to show. However, given recent events, it seems the day-to-day reality is much worse than any of us (read: men) could have ever imagined.