Totem / Common Sense
2016 - present
The noted urban theatre group Company Deracinemoa were invited to create an inaugural performance in 2016 for the Hardelot Elizabethan Theatre. Director Laurent-Guillaume Dehlinger quietly shadowed Andrew Todd as he dealt with the final crises of the construction. Unawares to the architect, he was gleaning material for his show, and also silently building a relationship which would begin to flourish after the inauguration.
The inaugural show involved drawing a physical, historical and philosophical portrait of the building. Immediately afterwards, Dehlinger proposed a collaboration based around the themes of Todd’s book ‘Common Sense,’ which relates intimate space, theatre and city. Taking as a working scenario the effects on a group of four citizens of an order to evacuate their home city, the spectacle Totem/Common Sense took shape as a co-constructed event in which large structures take shape in urban space, citizens work together to form a choreographed polis and chorus, and workshops and lectures take place during a week on the subject of urbanity and civic values and identity.
Initially planned in various cities, the show was postponed by the Coronavirus pandemic (which -in some senses- it eerily prefigured). It is now being prepared for a world premiere in 2022.
Studio Andrew Todd are scenographers and co-dramaturges of the piece.