New Year’s Eve is a special time in Wolstenholme Square. And we’re not talking about Tiësto flying in for a two hour set. Oh no. We’re talking about the continuing adventures of folk who live next door (well, we say next door. In some ways, they could well live a million light years distant). We’re talking about the Kronos salvage team at the Kazimier.
This New Year’s Eve saw the third installment of the Kronos Trilogy – a mythical tale of interplanetary hide and seek as the Kazimier crew set sail for far distant horizons in search of a ship, lost in the timeless void of interstellar space. Which is way, way past the Baltic Triangle.
The original Kronos (NYE 2008) flitted from 1950s Americana music hall to a downtown New York discotheque. The second, Kronos Returns, invited the audience to the Kazimier Picture House, transporting party goers through time with iconic cinema moments, ending with a 2001 Space Odyssey journey that some are still recovering from.
This, the third night’s excursion, was filmed; with revellers each playing their part as the story unfolded (and the film’s set for its red carpet premier on Thursday).
Ahead of the event, we caught up with Sam and Venya from the Kazimier crew, to give us a guided tour of their time-travelling trilogy.
“The film was an attempt to bridge the gap between passive audience viewing and active participation,” they say of the night, in which audience members were notified in advance of the event, the scene they needed to dress for, what time they were due at hair and makeup, and generally what their mission was. So, in many ways, it must have been just like a night in Playground.
“It proved to be a challenging experiment,” Sam says, “as we only had one chance to film the scenes, not to mention the fact that it was New Year’s Eve!”
Luckily they’d enlisted a film crew more than capable to rise to the challenge, directed by Jack Whiteley.
“The Kronos Begins is the prequel to our other new years eve events: The Kronos & The Kronos Returns. This one took us back to the point of inception, and its captain’s plight to discover his ship. The story has concluded but we’ve left the end slightly open…”
Was it a happy ending?
“It was. The Kronos series has stretched three events over five years. The Kronos’ time-travel concept fitted our New Years’ parties perfectly. It allowed us to take the audience from the past into the future, and was an exciting challenge for us to get stuck into.”
“We’re focussing more on large scale creative projects such as Atalonia and The Garden at the moment but New Year’s Eve is always a temptation for us.”
So there’s positively no Alien resurrection? No Star Wars endless rebooting? This is the end?
“Let’s say it’s a change rather than an end.”
Could something so mass participatory like this only happen in Liverpool? We love a bit of dressing up, don’t we?
“Liverpool has allowed The Kazimier to become a reality, we’d probably find it very difficult to exist permanently elsewhere. The size of the Kronos’s production means we rely on the collaboration and contribution of others, friends, artists, costume makers, constructors – Liverpool allows us to know such a wealth of people in such a small area.”
“New Year is the perfect time to harness a collective momentary alignment in people’s desire to get trashed. Transporting ourselves to an alternative reality, just for one night. It’s the most energised night of the year, and the Kronos capitalises on that completely – we take the audience on a journey through alternative realities, some previously existing and some completely imagined. We want them to look back on the night wondering whether it really happened.”
By the sound of it, everyone was having the time of their lives. Except you? Was it the hardest thing you’ve ever pulled off?
“Changing scenes and the film-studio aspect of the this one proved difficult, partly because the club has become so small for the size of our ideas…everything had to be flat-packed or hoisted away. The organisation of a 600 strong – cast was also a mighty challenge to pull off.”
So, what next?
Fingers crossed, the garden opens again in May.
The Kronos Begins
Kazimier, Thursday 28 March
Red Carpet, from 8pm