Part of Summerhall’s Big in Belgium season,
This glowing review is the applause I couldn’t give
As Working Method is primarily a show which teaches the audience how to make a piece of theatre, it could easily become patronising and pretentious. However, Khaled is personable and conscientious, easily engaging his audience and getting them involved first-hand in the first step of his four-step theatre-making process. On pieces of A3 paper he encourages us to share memories and images to play a word association game. This is something which children would be able to do, and yet it gave the group of adults present a chance to connect with their imaginations, ending up with a scene which could be performed onstage.
Khaled then goes on to show us how to use this easy, childhood game to carry out the next three steps of his theatre making procedure. It becomes clear that he is interested in the past, present and possible future of an individual, and in how one person’s experience can speak for all people. He conveys this idea successfully and commendably, engaging the audience in his words and helping them to see his point of view.
This entire performance is interlaced with raw, hard hitting stories of Khaled’s own upbringing. He begins with a story about the meaning of his first name: Enkidu, which loosely translates to ‘reason’. Growing up in a place where making art that wasn’t censored was impossible, in this compelling and visceral semi-performance, Khaled inspires us to find out the reason behind making art in the first place.
At the end of this moving piece, Khaled asked us not to applaud him, as for him it feels wrong. This is a faultless, honest account of the process of creating art and problems that come with it, and there is nothing against which it can be measured. This glowing review is the applause I couldn’t give, and this is a must-see piece of theatre for those who are interested in both the creative process and in the meaning behind making art in the first place.