the love of it versus subtlemob

the love of it versus subtlemob

Explaining a subtlemob to someone is a tricky thing. The best description comes from the makers: “Imagine walking through a film, but it’s happening on the streets around you. . .” But the only way to find out is to get involved, as team love of it found out this week.

I first heard (and got very excited) about subtlemobs earlier this year, but this week was the first time I’ve been able to take part, and I ended up participating in two.

The first was “as if it were the last time“, which has been taken all over the world and reached its final UK showing this week.¬†Turning up with the supplied mp3 on my phone, a friend with the same mp3, and no idea of what to expect, we located ourselves within the allotted area (the harbour round by the Watershed). And waited. Dead on 6pm, we both pressed play.

I don’t want to ruin the experience for other people, but it’s a wonderful mix of music, words and actions. Getting lost in your own head, thinking about the words that are being said and just watching the world go by. Walking along with your partner, each hearing the same words – connected but silently so. Glimpsing other people nearby or in the distance and wondering if they’re taking part or just passers by. You feel like you’re in a different world.

There’s something amazing about a large group of strangers congregating and doing the same thing. But the beauty of this is that you’re invisible, the people around you are unaware of what’s unfolding around them, and you’re never quite sure who else is part of it. And as quickly as you arrive, people disperse and the world carries on.

The second subtlemob was a test of their newest creation, “our broken voice“. Now I’m not going to go into details as it’s still a work in progress, and I don’t want to ruin anything – the less you know the better. It’s about interlocking stories, and catching glimpses of the bigger picture. It’s very different to “as if it were the last time”, but a really wonderful experience. Completely unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and I’ll definitely be returning for the premiere on the 2nd December.

Unique. Captivating. Fascinating. Give it a try.

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