Imitating the dog, one of the UK's most original and innovative performance theatre companies are set to premiere two new productions on a UK tour this winter.
The Zero Hour follows the stories of five couples living through three very different versions of the same historical events in the final hours of the war in Berlin in 1945. Across these different histories the protagonists' lives connect and gradually build a picture of human stoicism in the face of history.
Framed as film that is being directed by a Chinese film director and crew, The Zero Hour fuses live action with pre-recorded film, animation, and computer generated imagery to create a world where human relations are located to be at the heart of historical events. Disturbing and romantic in turn The Zero Hour is shot through with the obsessions that are the hallmarks of ITD's narrative inventions to date. The play will be spoken in Chinese, Russian, French, German and English.
The company have also created 6 Degrees Below the Horizon, a fabulous fable of a man on his deathbed attempting to explain to his daughter why he abandoned her as a young child.
Drawing on the works of Genet, Wedekind, Brecht and the photography of Pierre et Gilles 6 Degrees Below the Horizon takes its audiences on a delightful and twisted voyage into a subterranean world in which doing the right thing is seen to have terrible consequences.
6 Degrees Below the Horizon originated from work done on Tales from the Bar of Lost Souls, which was made in collaboration with The National Theatre of Greece and Cyprus Theatre Organisation as part of the British Council Creative Collaboration programme.
Building on the recent successes of Hotel Methuselah, Kellerman, and their collaboration with Oldham Coliseum on The Hound of the Baskervilles both productions will create a memorable and immersive experience for the audience in this captivating fusion of cinema and theatre.
Imitating the dog devise performances that experiment with the role of story-telling and narrative in a contemporary theatrical context. Through the innovative combination of digital media, design and physical performance, the company creates off-kilter worlds within which public and private obsessions - identity, death, love and sexuality - are explored. Made in close collaboration with associate artists their highly visual and technological productions represent a unique and sometimes disorientating experience for the spectator.
Playwright and director Andrew Quick said "These two new works explore the types of little stories that make up most of our lives, stories that are often overwhelmed by the force of larger historical events. These works feel like a culmination of our craft, beautifully wrought theatre pieces where form and content work hand in hand. While 6 Degrees is more playful and light and The Zero Hour is more serious, both attempt to reflect on the ways in which the cinematic frames our world view. Both are a playful homage to cinema and also a critique of its dominance."
Both productions are written and directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks and will be touring the UK from late January to mid- February and in autumn 2013.