Big Brother (Endemol)

Endemol's genius lies in expanding the self-deception of Beckett's Vladimir and Estragon on to a grand scale

Article by Jay Shukla | 10 Jul 2007
  • Big Brother

This latest run of Big Brother finds the Endemol company pushing the envelope of performance art, with a series of challenging works that are theatrical yet steeped in literary reference – Kafka and Beckett being the obvious touchstones. Whereas Beckett's Breath summed up the absurdity of the human condition in less than 25 seconds, Endemol have boldly undertaken a diametric approach with their series of bland vignettes played out night after night, in a sequence that seems to have no foreseeable end. The self-destructive egotism of the collective vindicates Will Self's perverse characterisation of the house as 'a kind of Ikea Belsen', each participant's complicity in their own exploitation serving as a sharp reminder of the banality of evil. Endemol's genius lies in expanding the self-deception of Beckett's Vladimir and Estragon on to a grand scale, eventually replacing the playwright's poignant anticlimax with a firework display, overdubbed applause and the promise of a tits-out photo romp in Nuts magazine. [Jay Shukla]

 

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