We live in times when the air can feel a little thin. Perhaps even toxic. Is it possible to enrich it? Chris Goode puts the oxygen back into the room and reminds us that we share the air in every breath we take in this offbeat, deceptively simple but profoundly rich piece of spoken-word theatre, which feels like settling down for an intimate chat in a room full of strangers. Although, of course, in a show that makes us realise that everything is connected, the strangers all turn out to be collaborators.
The project began with Goode sending an invite to a handful of people asking them to send a message to the world. The only condition was that it had to be possible to read it in a single breath. The results were a mixture of the personal and the strongly political, although as it gradually becomes clear the two are inseparable.
Keep Breathing is part performance lecture, part poetry reading, part gentle pep talk about activism and the importance of saying yes. It is also part aide-memoire to help us recall those we miss, and a reminder that however far away we are in time or space, we are inextricably linked by the air that we breathe.
In the wrong hands, the show could seem calculated and phony, but Goode is so disarming it feels as if you've been invited into somebody's sitting room to share something precious. Like life itself, the show will constantly evolve as new people contribute and collaborate. For now, it bubbles along very nicely as it recognises that the breath exhaled in Plymouth tonight will travel across the globe.
- Lyn Gardner - read the full article