PuSh Blog

Curatorial Statement – Norman Armour on Gob Squad’s Kitchen

December 17, 2013

I have from time to time attended multiple performances of a given work.

Sometimes, I have done it simply for the pleasure of taking in a play or dance piece a second time.

Many years back, I actually went night after night for a whole week to watch Daniel MacIvor and Daniel Brooks’ Here Lies Henry.

Sometimes, I have gone to see a work twice, in order to reconsider my first responses—in a way putting to the test or questioning my initial reading. Rick Groen, film critic for the Globe and Mail, wrote a remarkable review of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant that centred around his multiple viewings of the work and how he came to challenge his initial judgments.

More often than not, when I have taken the opportunity to view a work twice I will do it in order to make sure that my initial enthusiasm holds out over time. Australia’s Back to Back Theatre with their near monumental production of Food Court is a case in point. It’s a moving, hour-long tone poem on verbal, emotional and physical abuse, underscored throughout with an improvised live score by the experimental jazz ensemble The Necks. Not only did the work resonate the second time round, its impact was deeper, more nuanced.

And, in this vein….

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of Gob Squad’s Kitchen at Portland’s TBA Festival. I was even more fortunate to attend a second performance the following night.

This is one of the finest works of theatre and performance I have witnessed over the past ten years. High, high, high concept… and low tech. Nostalgic, humorous, whacked out, touching, playful, intelligent, sophisticated, tender, daring, and charming as all get out. Utterly human.

I consciously avoid picking favourites. Not here.

If there is one piece to attend in this year’s 10th Anniversary PuSh Festival… you guessed it: Gob Squad’s Kitchen.

Heck, use up your PuSh Pass to bring your friends.

Or even go twice. I did.

Norman Armour, Artistic & Executive Director
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival


Gob Squad’s Kitchen

January 16–18
Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street

8:00PM (100 min, no intermission)

PuSh Conversations:
Post-Performance Talk: January 17

Act 1: Eat 1 with Dine Out Vancouver:
Gob Squad’s Kitchen paired with Salt Tasting Room: January 16