The Shame Show is an interactive game/variety show hosted by Mertle (performance artist Caroline Smith) who will be subverting notions of popular entertainment as she investigates concepts of shame with her audience.
The evening will be divided between Mertle’s probing her guests in a series of interviews with guests such as a psychotherapist, philosopher and unrepentant ne’er do wells and a participatory game show where the audience can confess and relieve themselves of their burden of shame.
Like a flashback from the golden days of light entertainment combined with an informal supper club, where the canapés of shame absolve the participants of their negative emotions, The Shame Show is an emotional exorcism that deals with psychological complexities in a manner that is both surprising and enlightening.
Caroline Smith is a performance artist whose work explores the peripheries of stand-up comedy and art. In her Mertle persona she has looked at people’s complex relationships with food and eating disorders. Mertle herself is from another time, the 1950’s, where a housewife was as adept at emotional self-restraint as she was with making a Victoria sponge and consequently she acts a repository for people’s intimate moments of self-doubt or insecurity . Mertle becomes a non-judgemental listener and the audience become increasingly aware that beneath the confidently domestic exterior is a woman who shares their insecurities and self-doubt.
For this performance Caroline will be collaborating with Paul Green whose ongoing curatorial project In Every Dream Home a Heartbreak takes a fresh look at sexuality and gender representation in non-mainstream culture. Paul Green will be animating the space with moments of shame in popular culture and documenting Mertle’s performance and the two will use the performance as a way of exploring future collaborations.
Thursday 30 May 6.30pm
900 Midsummer Blvd
Milton Keynes MK9 3QA
T +44 (0)1908 676 900