Geneva, written and performed by Jane Arnfield, was about love, mountaineering and hallucination. Investigating human limits in extreme situations, it asked why we repeat our mistakes, why we refuse to see things as they really are and why we keep on going upwards and onwards… 

Geneva had 3 parts:                                                                   

 – a lecture of slides, real and invented ‘facts’ about the history of mountaineering, with details from Jane’s own personal history;           

– a visually and physically-driven section with a short text and simple choreography in a field of 750 domestic light bulbs;                                             

– a brief coda avalanche of video and sound

“I have to say that this show worked for me, in its courage, its eloquence, and its willingness to look directly at some of the terrifying everyday risks that people may be trying to escape, control or understand by taking to the hills…”
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

How we made it

“Geneva was a departure for Quarantine – the first, and so far only, time we’ve asked another artist to initiate a project. I’d worked with Jane previously at Northern Stage and she’d been in Frank and Something a taxi driver in Liverpool said… Jane is a fabulous performer and an original thinker – we felt we could take the risk with her to make something which hadn’t started with one of Quarantine's core artists.

Looking back, Geneva was a mixed success. It’s still one of Simon Banham’s favourite pieces – Jane in the field of lightbulbs made for some stunning images. We questioned whether we had made a Quarantine piece – and those discussions helped us to define what that meant. I felt like a facilitator of somebody else’s ideas – and escaping this feeling was one of the main reasons we set up Quarantine in the first place. That gap perhaps meant that I failed to connect the personal and the political in ways that have underpinned our other work. Jane’s performance was complex and clear and honest and passionate. I’m glad we did it.”

Richard Gregory, Director