Action Hero (UK): Oh Europa

Tuesday 25.9. 13:00 – 17:00
Wednesday 26.9. – Thursday 27.9. 12:00 – 16:00
Friday 28.9. 
18:00 – 22:00
Saturday 29.9. 
11:00 – 13:00

Kuopio Market Square

Over 6 months in 2018, Action Hero are travelling over 30,000km across Europe in a motorhome, recording songs of love, hope, heartbreak, loss and desire, sung by the people they meet. They invite ANTI Festival and the people of Kuopio to contribute to the process by recording love songs in their mobile studio and by encountering material gathered on their journey through Europe’s contested identity.  This ever-evolving archive will be broadcasting 24/7 from beacons placed, by the artists, at literal edges of the continent, but also the invisible boundaries, margins, cultural junctures and geological edgelands of Europe.

An epic song cycle broadcasting loud and clear from the thresholds of Europe, a dispatch from elsewhere, Oh Europa’s  love songs cut straight to the heart. Detached from political posturing, hollow rhetoric and empty sound bites, they transmit a heartfelt message: an opportunity to hear ourselves emerge out of the white noise.

Oh Europa seeks to reveal a different set of connections, flows and circuits; a re-orientation exercise that might interrupt, re-render and re-imagine the ways we think about Europe and how we continue to share this space.

Action Hero pull into Kuopio towards the end of their adventure, bringing with them a performance created en route, a travelogue not to be missed! &

Oh Europa App

The project has its own app which is available on both Android and IoS. It can be found by searching for “Oh Europa” on the App Store or on Google Play. The app functions as a compass to direct audience members towards the nearest beacon to them, and as a radio so they can tune in and listen to the songs as they are being broadcast.

Action Hero (UK): Oh Europa

How to get there?


Action Hero (UK): Oh Europa


Concept & performance: Action Hero

Dramaturgy: David Williams

Graphic design: Graeme Swinton at Actually

Print design: Alex Higlett at Pirrip

Technologist: David Haylock at Watershed Pervasive Media Studio

Co-produced with Farnham Maltings (UK)

Co-commissioned by Transform (UK), Matchbox (DE) and Farnham Maltings (UK)

Supported by Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio (UK), Vooruit (BE), and British Council

Action Hero is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

The visit in Kuopio is supported by


Action Hero (UK): Oh Europa

Action Hero (UK)

Short listed for ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art 2016!

Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse share an interdisciplinary performance practice together under the name Action Hero. Since 2005, they have created performances spanning theatre, live art, installation, multi media and site-specific practice, which have toured to nearly 30 countries across 5 continents.

Their ongoing interests lie in the iconography of popular culture and its use; both as a weapon and as a shared cultural memory. Action Hero’s work is always experimenting with form, and as a result their work expands across multiple creative practices. Although they work primarily with live performance, they regularly work with processes and mediums with which they are unfamiliar, adopting a radical DIY approach which often sees them navigating solo through new technical and creative territories.

Action Hero’s long form collaborative partnership has taken them to some of the world’s most prestigious and legendary performance contexts, including PS122 in New York, Theatre De La Ville in Paris, Shanghai Grand Theatre and the 21st Century Museum in Japan. They have taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level as visiting lecturers at several UK universities, and have led master classes world-wide.

In 2013 they won an Austin (Texas) Critic’s Table Award for "Watch Me Fall", and in 2016 Action Hero was shortlisted for the Anti Festival International Prize for Live Art for their contribution to the field. Action Hero have two books published by Oberon: "Action Plans", a blueprint for alternative processes of documenting contemporary performance featuring 6 of their works, with an introduction by Professor Carl Lavery and "Wrecking Ball", a conceptual artwork disguised as a traditional play script. In 2018 they will become a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

Recent works include "Extraordinary Rendition", a piece for one person at a time inside a purpose built cabin using audio, video and live performance; "From Ashes", a durational installation using over 1000 handmade, to-scale miniature paper houses covered in ash; and "Wrecking Ball" a sort-of play about the destructive power of images.