Commissioned by Cambridge Junction
Supported by Arts Council England
"In contemporary performative arts the word 'immersive' is banded around like it is going out of fashion. Very few performances live up to this adjective, but Anna Brownsted’s Marginalia is the very definition of the word. Marginalia is an experience for an audience of one, set in a secret location on the site of Cambridge Junction. It’s all very mysterious.
As I enter the performance space reminiscent of a shipping container, Brownsted greets me, asking me to take off my jacket, and checking that I’m not scared of the dark amongst other health and safety questions. As I lie down on the single bed from where I’ll experience the performance, I’m slightly apprehensive as to what the next 15 minutes will hold. I’m compelled to close my eyes, take some deep breaths, during which time Brownsted pushes the bed (which it transpires is on wheels) into an enclosed pitch-black space.
At first I feel like I’m in a coffin, but as time passes, I don’t feel like I’m anywhere. And this is where the genius of the work lies. As the audience member lies in the darkness, being whispered to by pre-recorded voices, they lose sense of space and time, which offers time for self-reflection, and also breaks down the boundaries of the traditional audience-performer relationship."