Action Hero

Hoke's Bluff

Presented by Contact + Word of Warning

####In Brief Everything rests on this one free throw. On this one last shot. On these last few seconds. Action Hero have got their game faces on.

With a nostalgic yearning for the simplicity of a world that never really existed, Hoke’s Bluff uses the hackneyed formulas of high-school storylines and the cheap sentimentality of inspiring locker-room speeches to find out what it means to be a winner (on the inside).

See their trailer.

####Venue + Booking Details
Dates: Friday 24 + Saturday 25 October 2014, 8pm
Venue: Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA
Tickets: £11/6 ¦ Special offer: buy ten + get one free
Box Office Tel: 0161 274 0600

####Access Information
The performance lasts approximately 70 minutes with no interval. Age advisory: suitable for all.

A show that tells a story in order to reflect on what stories are and what they mean to us.

With a wistful yearning for a world that never really existed, Hoke’s Bluff uses high school storylines, inspiring locker room speeches and sentimentality to tell an underdog story that’s been told a million times before. Shifting and re-arranging the trite conventions and narratives of American teen movies they talk about what it means to be a winner (on the inside).

Hoke’s Bluff navigates the curious territory in which our emotional responses to American dreams outweigh our rational understanding of what America (and the Western world) really stands for. By attempting a heartfelt and sincere rendition of schmaltzy, hackneyed underdog sports movies Action Hero gently reveal both the ambient violence and the genuine beauty that hide within these seemingly innocuous cornball stories.

Hoke’s Bluff came out of The Darkroom, a writing residency we did in January 2012. We were interested in sports psychology writing and trashy American sports films and throughout the course of a two week writing marathon a kind of screenplay for a film emerged. It had characters and a story and being live artists, not playwrights, this felt strange to us. So we tried to stage it to see what happened. On the way we did a road trip across California and drove into the desert. We went to an American football game in Oakland, an Ice Hockey game in Vancouver, and a Basketball game in San Antonio. And we bought a giant wildcat mascot outfit in a fancy dress store in Austin, Texas and carried it home on the plane.”

####Who are they?
Action Hero is the collaboration between Gemma Paintin & James Stenhouse. Living and working in Bristol, they have toured to theatres, bars, galleries and public spaces across five continents and have performed to audiences everywhere from an old cinema in Bangkok, to Shanghai Grand Theatre, to a Satan’s Riders Motorcycle clubhouse in Tasmania, to a blues bar in Texas on the same stage as James Brown (not at the same time).

Exploring the epic and the banal, they create performance that is intimate, distinctive and invigorating. Their ongoing interests lie in the iconography of popular culture and its use; both as a weapon and as a shared cultural memory.

####What people have said about them

…see why this maverick company, with its engaging DIY aesthetic, is attracting so much attention.
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
The key to this show’s success is that it is all done with love. A very clever piece of theatre; a cracking night out.
Total Theatre

Co-produced by China Plate + Warwick Arts Centre. Co-commissioned by Bristol Old Vic Ferment. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Action Hero are supported by Theatre Bristol’s Company Producer.

####Websites ¦
@Actionherolive ¦ @HBwildcat ¦ #hokesbluff

Performance Programme Autumn/Winter 2014

Sat 4 Oct, 12noon-10pm. FREE | Z-arts
Emergency 2014
Fri 24 + Sat 25 Oct, 8pm. £11/6 | Contact
Hoke's Bluff
Fri 7 Nov, 8pm. £12/10 | The Lowry (Studio)
Chewing The Fat
Fri 28 Nov, 6/7/8pm. By donation | Z-arts
The man who flew into space from his apartment (work-in-progress) (all performances sold-out)