What is ‘play’? And what does ‘play’ mean to you?
These are the questions at the heart of KAN Collective’s new interactive installation, House of Joys – a bold, deeply moving meditation on the things that are lost when we grow up.
Moving around the installation, guided by its glittery, child-like performers, participants are invited to engage in different forms of play: roleplay, object play and, most charmingly of all, a simple and freely evolving touch game with your wordless playmates.
Like scenes playing out in your imagination, each scenario unfurls in its own kaleidoscopic, self-enclosed world, filled with curiosities, wonders and, indeed, joy.
It is, ironically, a demanding experience. The expectation of free, uninhibited behaviour comes as a shock for one unaccustomed to it, and you begin to realise that play for its own sake, for the simple pleasure of it, is like an old childhood toy that you dropped somewhere, lost and forgot about.
As the show ushers you beguilingly out of your comfort zone, you cannot help but reflect upon the unquestioned absence of play from your life in the world outside.
House of Joys is a revelation. Conceptually brilliant and beautifully, if not perfectly, realised, it is at once evocative and inspirational. This is an experience that you will not soon forget.