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Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova
Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova
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‘YOUARENOWHERE’ Electrifies At Shoreditch Townhall

Picture of Georgia McKay
Updated: 17 June 2016
Andrew Schneider’s eagerly anticipated show YOUARENOWHERE was billed as one of the ‘must-see hot tickets’ of LIFT 2016, selling out well in advance of the opening night. In development since 2012, the Artistic Director of Performance Space 122, Vallejo Gantner first commissioned a full-length version of YOUARENOWHERE for Coil Festival 2015 in New York. The rapturously received production heralded Schneider’s graduation from resident video artist for the Wooster Group to significant artist in his own right, garnering him an OBIE award along the way.

Before arriving at LIFT 2016, YOUARENOWHERE generated considerable buzz on tour in Slovenia, Melbourne and France, as part of PS122’s global initiative. A self-described ‘multimedia performer and designer’ based in Brooklyn, Schneider seamlessly integrates technology with live performance to create mind-bending visual trickery (the artist’s side projects into wearable technology include a Solar Bikini, which recharges your iPod while you suntan).

Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova
Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova

At times an affront to the senses, YOUARENOWHERE is a frenetic mix of personal revelation and relativity theory, enhanced by sophisticated lighting, audio and visual effects. Lacking a traditional linear narrative, the show’s enigmatic quality is prefaced by its title, which can be read as ‘You Are Nowhere’ or ‘You Are Now Here’.

Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova
Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova

At the outset, Schneider appears shirtless with white makeup reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s The Joker. What ostensibly appears to be a one-man show performed in an intimate space with a limited set, save for a black frame rigged with LED lights, YOUARENOWHERE turns out to be a rapid fire and ramshackle meditation on alcoholism, love and quantum physics that references Einstein’s theory of the speed of light. Frenzied dialogue is interspersed with blackouts, garbled soundbites and static interference so loud it reverberates throughout the audience (there were at least a couple of walkouts on opening night).

Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova
Andrew Schneider in YOUARENOWHERE (LIFT 2016) | © Maria Baranova

Schneider is a charismatic, if manic performer, who occasionally breaks the fourth wall by whispering to members of the audience. A diatribe of his idiosyncratic and often contradictory personal traits elicits several laughs. Although he appears hyperactive and unpredictable on the surface, Schneider’s electrifying performance is delivered with unrivalled technical precision. Without giving away too much, there is a sensational reveal featuring a mirrored parallel world that challenges, engages and mystifies the audience in equal measure.

Although the show is now sold out, the only way to see it is by volunteering, provided you can keep a secret!

YOUARENOWHERE runs from 14 – 18 June 2016 at Assembly Hall, and is presented by Shoreditch Town Hall, Gate Theatre, Notting Hill and LIFT. Part of LIFT 2016.

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT