Sound and Fury, The Watery part of the World

Review in Issue 13-4 | Winter 2001

This is theatre in the dark; a theatre of sound played out in pitch black. We do not see this show – we hear it. Based loosely on Moby Dick, this is a story of the crew of a whaling boat and their encounter with an angry whale that attacks and sinks their ship, leaving them to drift for days on the open sea, lost to the elements. Filling the black box with a recorded soundscape of the sea, and with poetic language describing the beauty and power of the ocean, ephemeral sounds gather to create a tangled watery world. A world of danger, wonder and the immense beauty of nature.

By depriving the audience of sight, Sound and Fury have opted for a rich, albeit limited, palette with which to create theatre. Though lack of sight throws the poetry into sharp relief, choices need to be made about the performance of the text. Do the actors speak the text as though reading off the page or do they play characters living and breathing the poetry? Though the voices of the performers were mostly strong, there was an unevenness to the speaking of the text suggesting an uncertainty of approach. However, it is the moments of surprise – the ghostly words ‘Come hither’ echoing around the space like the sirens of the Odyssey – which stay with you and suggest that a performance in the dark can entertain by using more than just your listening senses.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-4
p. 25