Police Vehicle is a dance theatre piece, a surreal and uncanny
investigation of copaganda drawing on the art and artifice of filming for television.
Using cameras onstage to film and project the action live, and following a script of
amalgamated popular police series, chewed up and spat out by an AI, the
performers create a cop show in real time. An increasingly absurd and surreal
experimental deconstruction of the wildly popular and pervasive genre.
Is any other profession as beloved by the viewing public as the police? Every night
of the week, we see competent, committed police officers feverishly working cases
to put the bad guys away. Charming, relatable heroes, whether scrupulously
working within the law or roguishly bending the rules for the greater good, they
come to our rescue, and protect us from the dark and violent criminal underworld.
How does this affect our ability to scrutinise police violence, institutional racism, the
role of policing and carceral justice itself? How can we not be alarmed by calls for
defunding and abolition, proposing that this thin blue line between order and chaos
be stripped away? And in the context of repressive laws criminalising protest, poverty, and seeking asylum, what does it mean to be making mainstream entertainment which sympathetically centres the police?
The piece has just completed an R&D residency at Yorkshire Dance the Barbican, having been selected for the Open Lab programme. Police Vehicle is funded by Arts Council England Project Grants.