Before Your Very Eyes

A live performance with children for an audience of grown ups

Ladies and Gentlemen! Gob Squad proudly present alive show with real children. A rare and magnificient opportunity to witness seven lives lived in fast forward… Before Your Very Eyes!

For the first time in their history, Gob Squad do not appear onstage themselves, instead directing a group of 8-14 year olds. As the audience observe them in a “safe-room” made of one-way mirrors like insects in a jam jar, the children onstage peer into the future at themselves as adults, and nostalgically back at their recent past. And as we try to stop the process of ageing and preserve youth as long as we can, they prepare to leave childhood behind forever.

Created over the course of two years with 8-14 year olds from around New York City. The audience witness seven lives lived in fast forward—from angst-ridden teens to hunched geriatrics. As we adults try to stop the process of aging and preserve youth as long as we can, the children peer into the future and nostalgically back at their recent past, as they prepare to leave childhood behind forever.

The Belgian version of Before Your Very Eyes was produced by CAMPO (Belgium) and premiered in 2011.

You probably don’t remember the historic day when you first saw yourself in the mirror. Perhaps a big person dangled you before the reflective surface, curious to see if you would recognize yourself. Perhaps you crawled towards the shiny surface or perhaps you clambered on to the side of the bath to steal that first glance at what you will come to recognize as you… that entity that you are going to refer to as “I” for the whole of your life. Later you touch the surface of the looking glass in wonder at the whole reversed world on the other side. Are the rules the same?  If you moved quickly enough, perhaps you could surprise yourself.   If only you could somehow get through, would you meet yourself, or would you simply trade places with your own reverse version?  Would the world beyond the mirrors reach actually exist or did it require the reflection to bring it into being? Hardly a day will pass that you will not see this other self,  accidentally or consciously staring back, checking and affirming itself. Like rehearsing your own signature, at some point you will have to take control and develop strategies and poise to deal with this other you that is forever changing before your very eyes.
Before Your Very Eyes was the last part of the CAMPO trilogy of theatre works with children, made for an adult audience. The first part was Josse De Pauw’s üBUNG, followed by Tim Etchells‘ That Night Follows Day.
Gob Squad first met the children in early 2009. Most of the texts were developed during improvisation and in collaboration with the performers.
First performance: 28. April 2011 (HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Germany)
The American Version of this performance premiered in October 2015 at The Public Theatre in New York City. It had a 6 weeks run and ended in November 2015.