David Wilson The Closet perforance

Talking career evolution with David Wilson

Stunning cabaret performances at the Playgrounds and Offf festivals are taking director David Wilson’s work in a new direction. He explains how everything he does is interconnected and why not every director’s ambition is to make movies

David Wilson’s appearance at last month’s Offf festival broke a number of taboos. He first made the audience sit up with the screening of his film Deep Clean – a very funny and extremely NSFW short which initially riffs on Queen’s famed I Want to Break Free video before going, well, much deeper.

This was shown on the main stage at Disseny Hub in Barcelona but also on massive screens outside for passers-by to witness too, much to Wilson’s delight. “I was amazed and overjoyed that they put it on those big screens outside – this is 8pm and you’re showing anal penetration to the public, amazing!”

What came next then broke with all the conventions we expect from a design or moving image festival, as Wilson went on to perform Closet, a half hour-long cabaret-cum-VJ set featuring dancers Wet Mess, Pinto, and Óscar del Pozo. Wilson himself was also centre stage, dressed in a range of outfits including a bright pink inflatable suit matched with gravity defying heels. A standard design talk this was not.

Top: David Wilson performing Closet at Playgrounds Festival. Photo: Willeke Machiels; Above: Poster for Closet event in London