Tug of war

Urban action during the Roll With It Tour

A very simple but higly effective action is the Tug of war. We made this performance in Berlin and then performed it in 11 different countries. The concept is simple: 5 people, visibly belonging to one team (i.e. wearing similar clothing), stand in the middle of a square (preferably the most important historical square of the city), put down a rope, draw a line in the middle, take up one side of the rope and start yelling “we need 5 people!”. They keep doing that until 5 people position themselves on the other side of the rope to pull.

There is a technique to this performance. The best thing is to win a couple of rounds, and then loose one. The audience almost always sides with the other team, because they are ‘innocent’ passers-by. When they lose once, the public hopes a next team will win. The best thing is to win twice, and then have the other team win. The audience would always cheer very loudly after we lost and random people would start hugging each other to celebrate. In a subtle manner we create a David vs. Goliath story, a myth around power and victory.

Concept: Bas van Rijnsoever, Lucas De Man, Marc Stoffels, Niels Kuiters, Jan Barta

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