Production Language English
Country of Origin Australia
Description Virginia, a woman, waits. The door opens. A man, Marty, enters. They talk, they laugh, they dance, it’s awkward, it’s funny. He leaves. Then she does it all over again, and again, 100 times for a full 24 hours. This is The Second Woman—Nat Randall and Anna Breckon’s epic feat of endurance performance and live cinema. The Sydney-based artistic duo bring the critically-acclaimed 24-hour live performance work to BAM for its US premiere.
An actor repeats a single scene inspired by John Cassavetes’ 1977 cult film Opening Night. Starring opposite her are a series of 100 different men drawn from New York City, ranging in age and background, professional and non-professional actors. Each encounter is captured on multiple cameras and projected live alongside the staged performance, highlighting minute details of expression and variations in performance. The evocative set draws its aesthetic influence from 1970s American independent cinema, while the projected images take their stylistic cues from the history of women’s melodrama. Audiences engage with the work by entering and exiting BAM Fisher’s Fishman Space throughout the duration of the performance and are encouraged to return multiple times over the 24 hours. Through the repetition of an intimate exchange, The Second Woman explores the generic and gendered conventions of emotionality, as well as the affective and relational nature of gender identity.