As performer Gareth Clark will testify, fear has guided him throughout his life. When he was a child, he was warned not the accept sweets from strangers, not to play near the railway and not to fly a kite near the pylon.
Fear and the threat of disfigurement or death haunted him through adulthood, too, whether it was the fear of not having enough money or the fear of not maintaining his health. Mr and Mrs Clark’s performance piece (FEAR), explores how we are controlled and taught to conform from a very early age through fear.
The piece also examines the release mechanisms that we look for in ordinary life. Desperate for a sense of belonging, Clark lived for the weekends and the testosterone fuelled camaraderie of the football terraces, which gave him a sense of belonging. Here he was feared, rather than being one of the fearful. Then later in life, drugs became a salvation, numbing the constant nagging fear that found its way into his everyday life.
(FEAR) is an eloquent blend of absurdist images, childhood memories and confessional theatre told with innate honesty. By baring his soul on stage and addressing his fears, Clark has unearthed another, far less corrosive but nonetheless revelatory, release mechanism.