When the Greek messenger Pheidippides was sent to Athens to announce the Persian’s defeat in the battle of Marathon, he ran the entire distance without stopping, burst into the Athenian assembly delivered the news and died on the spot. Fun Run is his story.
A huge dance party crashes the Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt, moving in unison to a banging soundtrack. Athletes, trampolinists, martial artists, cyclists, cheerleaders, drummers and dancers flood the stage. Amid this spectacle, one thing remains constant: a shirtless man is running on a treadmill, and he’s not stopping until he’s done 42 kilometres.
This is Fun Run: an epic community spectacle. Over five hours, Melbourne-based performance artist Tristan Meecham will run a non-stop marathon, fuelled by riotous performances and cheering crowds.
Part dance party, part performance piece, Fun Run was created back in 2010 for Next Wave Festival as a celebration of endurance. It’s also a homage to the Greek messenger Pheidippides, who ran all the way to Athens to announce the Persians’ defeat in the battle of Marathon. (We bet you can guess the distance he ran: 42km.) But while poor, loyal Pheidippides supposedly dropped dead on arrival to Athens, Meecham has ran the event multiple times all over the world, drawing energy from the joyful party around him.
In the months preceding the event, All The Queens Men and Art Centre Melbourne undertook the following activities:
• 24 workshops with 19 community groups who then performed at the event (in partnership with Circus Oz)
• 23 workshops with members of the general public and school students who then participated in the flash mobs at the event (in partnership with Circus Oz)
• Weekly workshops during February and March 2017 with an estimated 90 students from Thornbury Primary School, Bannockburn Primary School and Sacred Heart School who then performed at the event (in partnership with Circus Oz)
Turning ordinary moves into extraordinary heart-pumping action, Fun Run is Arts Centre Melbourne’s fourth project in the Betty Amsden Participation Program.
Arts Centre Melbourne Forecourt, Sunday 12 March 2017.
Winner: 2017 VicHealth Art Award. Nominated 2018 Green Room Award for Best Ensemble and Production.
Creator and Running Man: Tristan Meecham
Producer and Community: Bec Reid
Event Director: Willoh S. Weiland
Sound Design and operation: Nick Roux
Video Design: Chris More
Production Manager: Emily O’Brien
Stage Manager: Alice Fleming
Costume Designer: Chloe Greaves
Lighting Design: Paul Lim
Arts Centre Melbourne Producers: Emer Harrington, Patrick Cronin, Sally McPhee
Fun Run MC: Eddie Perfect
Fun Run Dancers: Bec Reid. Julian Crotti, Billy Parker, Julie Nguyen, Lerato Masiyane and Danzel Baker
Community Collaborators: Aerodance Sports Aerobics, Ashwood School, Arts Centre Melbourne Accessible Music Program, BAM Allstars, Bannockburn Primary School, Base Strength Arena, Black Dragon Taekwondo and Fitness, Boylesque, Broadmeadows Special Developmental School, Bulleen Heights School, Cheer Factor All Stars, Chinese Performing Arts Development, First Friday Dance Club, DreamTyme All Stars, Fast Boys and Girls, FilYa, Frankston Special Developmental School, IJUBA Capoeira, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, Limbs 2 Riddims, Lord of the Flies participants, Melbourne Bhangra Regiment, Mischa’s Boxing Central, Rossbourne School, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Sri Lankan Cultural Ensemble of Australia, Outer Urban Projects, Tama Tatau, The Fanatics, Thornbury Primary School, U-bounce Fitness