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IOU Waylaid

April 12, 2007

iou waylaid

Jack and I saw the IOU show ‘Waylaid’ tonight. It took place in a dome-like space; (yet another igloo-shaped structure – this must be a visual metaphor for us at the moment!). There was a sense of being in the far north, somewhere up near the arctic circle in my mind. The show involved each member of the audience wearing head phones to listen to a live music and spoken word sound track. I loved the emotional layering of words and sounds that this produced. It did create an audience who all seemed to be in their individual bubbles. I felt a little out of my depth responding to visual theatre as it is a new language for me. The piece explored a limbo land, a space between life and death, between being conscious and unconscious. There were strands of fairy tale elements, such as being kissed awake or trying on a glass slipper that doesn’t fit, but also surreal, almost science fiction stuff as well.
There was a hole in the set that seemed to suck in people and their lives and a giant beetle that looked like something from Kafka. The show ended with the phrase ‘there is only now’ but up to this point seemed to explore lots of other versions of reality and the links between memory and the present. The strong sense of watching a sequence of events that cuts through ordinary life reminded me of how I felt when I was burgled at home, and came downstairs to find the house trashed. The rest of that day passed in slow motion.
After watching the show, Jack and I discussed how the words worked as part of the theatre piece and whether we would explore using similar techniques with Matt, the sound artist that we are going to work with in the creative lab week. I liked the idea of a tangential sound track, an inner monologue with a collage of broken, dream-like sections of prose or poetry. There was a moveable washing line in ‘Waylaid’ as well. Owl-like characters emptied the contents of a woman’s suitcase and briefcase and pinned some of this up. A strong image of how work-related stuff can seem very important at the time, but is actually ephemeral. This image sparked off a discussion about the use of projection screens in our piece and how we could make these a striking visual element in our work. However we don’t want to mirror IOU’s style but do want to explore and learn from other artists’ creative approaches. In our own work, we like the idea of creating a tone that is serious, but playful at the same time, perhaps by using elements of the absurd. (Forkbeard theatre do this very well) I worry about whether I can write anything remotely funny!

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