Ant Hampton and Gert-Jan Stam – OK OK

Script Ok OK

A minimalist comedy performed by the audience themselves. About 45 minutes. For 4 at a time.

The seated participants simply read, out loud, the words hi-lighted on the scripts they hold. By ‘just saying the lines’ all four readers find meaning and intention falling into place (despite no pressure to ‘act’ or correctly voice anything). Somehow, what’s said is an expression of the same doubt, curiosity and anxiety that can be expected of anyone asked to read out loud, in a group, without preparation. 

The text seems to anticipate the readers’ thoughts at any given moment. The result is an often very funny sense of the script acting as an uncannily ‘live’ object; a text, perhaps, being written at the same time as being read. This feeling gently snowballs as the piece develops and unfolds towards a surprising end.

As the first Autoteatro piece to function without audio or headphones, OK OK can be seen to treat printed text as a comparable if far older ‘technology’ (a pre-recordable, reproducible agency). Unlike the work with headphones however, the strategy is completely transparent. Everyone can read what everyone is saying.

OK OK follows on from Ant’s previous collaboration, The Quiet Volume (with Tim Etchells) and explores, out loud this time, the strange potential for written text to gain its own life and claim its own space.

Photo by Richard Lahuis
Photo by Richard Lahuis


Created in residency at Vooruit (Ghent, Belgium) as part of the festival ‘The Game is Up!. Supported by Project Arts Centre (Dublin, Ireland) and Het Huis van Bourgondie (Maastricht, Netherlands).

Creative Production: Katja Timmerberg


Photo by Anna Lupien
Photo by Anna Lupien

In 2007 Gert-Jan Stam, in a shift away from his work in visual arts, wrote a play. At the opening, after the show, a woman approached him and asked for a copy of the script. When asked what for, she explained that she would like to go home and perform the play with her family.

Astonished and intrigued by this request, Gert-Jan started trying to write a play which anyone could do ‘in the comfort of their own homes’ and, crucially, without rehearsal. He was chosen for MAKE2010, a residency programme in Ireland giving 15 artists the chance to develop their work under the help and guidance of three mentors, one of whom that year was Ant Hampton. After MAKE, Ant suggested they continue working on the piece together within the Autoteatro context. In March 2011, as part of his festival ‘The Game is Up!‘, Tom Bonte offered Ant and Gert-Jan a residency atVooruit (Ghent, Belgium) in order to develop the piece further. This was also made possible thanks to financial support fromProject Arts Centre, Dublin.