DIRECTOR : Pete Brooks / Imitating the Dog
VENUE : West Yorkshire Playhouse
COMPANY: imitating the dog
Wei Da Chen,
Taking as its starting point the final moments of the Second World War in Berlin, The Zero Hour follows the stories of three couples living through three very different versions of the same historical events. In one version two Russian soldiers celebrate their survival amid the ruins of Berlin as, at the same time they prepare to say goodbye. In another, a British intelligence officer visits a Germany, allied with Britain, which has almost won the war against the Soviet Union, and where the Red army may have discovered a way to send messages through time. In a third a triumphant Soviet Union has occupied all of Europe except for Great Britain with whom an uneasy truce is maintained. Across these different histories the protagonists’ lives connect or fail to connect in ways which echo and resonate and gradually build a picture of human stoicism in the face of the wave of history. The Zero Hour asks difficult questions about how we understand ourselves in relation to the times and the universe in which we find ourselves. It is work which is overtly philosophical and we hope humane. It is also unapologetically romantic and shot through with the obsessions (sex, babies, death WW2 and time travel) which are the hall marks of ITD’s narrative inventions.
On a formal level The Zero Hour continues ITD’s exploration of the relation between live action , computer generated animation and recorded material. In particular, the events of the stage are filmed and projected by a Chinese film crew, a device which helps to frame the audience’s interrogation of the process of the writing of history and the production of fictions.