Lightwork is conducting research on the border between reality and performance.
Using audio recordings of actual conversations in public places, Lightwork is experimenting with their recreation onstage. We are asking:
- 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.