Lightwork: Image Performance

Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook


Lightwork conducts research on the border between reality and performance.

Using audio recordings of actual conversations in public places, Lightwork experiments with their recreation onstage. We ask:

  • How does the selection and performance of these human exchanges affect the way they are heard and valued?
  • What happens when a performer tries to duplicate the rhythms, repetitions, false starts, pauses and overlapping of natural speech? What is revealed? What new relationships are created?
  • Why does conventional writing for the theatre choose not to attempt this?
  • What is the effect of hearing words from the mouth of a performer who is not their originator, and is perhaps even a different age, gender or ethnicity?
  • How does performer movement and the addition of audio-visual stimuli enhance, complicate or compromise the material?
  • Can this work help us towards an understanding of the state of the nation, of people's hearts and minds, or even a sense of truth at this moment in time?

Lightwork held an exploratory evening of work-in-progress for an invited audience in June 2003, using 4 performers and a selection of verbatim texts. A further development day exploring design elements (sound and video) was held in September 2003. There followed a successful application to the Arts Council for a further phase of development and exploration. This was undertaken in July 2004, featuring four performers, a sound designer, voice director, digital scenographer and stage manager. The outcome was presented as a work-in-progress showcase at Central School of Speech and Drama.

Lightwork presented further work-in-progress showings of Utter as part of the Verbatim Practices in Contemporary Theatre symposium at Central School of Speech and Drama, 13-14 July 2006.

Production Credits:

David Annen – performance
Sandra Cooley – performance
Mat Fraser – performance
Lucy Richardson - performance
David Annen - direction
Gregg Fisher – sound design
Douglas O’Connell – video design
Jacek Scarso – voice tutor