Parade was a multimedia performance, an experimental theatre project performed by The Body Art Ensemble of Copenhagen, Martin Hall’s continuation of his 1982 outfit The Art Ensemble of Copenhagen. Hall’s partner in The Body Art Ensemble of Copenhagen was Henrik Möll.

Parade was written and directed Hall and performed over two nights at Saltlageret (a legendary venue in Copenhagen) in December 1984. At these shows Hall and Möll engaged in quite severe self-mutilation on stage (such as cutting themselves open) while films were projected with the two leading actors performing oral sex on each other. As far as Hall and Möll were concerned recitations were made solely via pre-recorded messages (mono- and dialogues) played from handheld walkman equipment on stage – all other narrative activity was made as either playback speak or performed live by the other actors via megaphones.

The show’s cast featured Jan Munkvad, Asger Gottlieb, Janine Neble and Jens Kruse. Last but not least, Martin Hall’s father, Eigil Hall, also appeared on stage, playing both the invalid ringmaster and — in the last scene – a naked Jesus the Christ. Eigil Hall had taken over the role from Elsebeth Hall, Martin Hall’s mother, who had committed suicide a few months before the show. Among other features she was to perform the role of a female Christ figure in the play’s last scene.

Whereas The Art Ensemble of Copenhagen’s 1982 performance Giv Folket Brød, Vi Spiser Kage (“Give the people bread, we’ll have cake”) was characterized by large quantities of (black) humour, Parade was distinguished by a complete lack of this element.

Photos: Kurt Rodahl