Pacitti Company, Audiology

Review in Issue 15-1 | Spring 2003

The flyer led one to anticipate an evening of curiosity: ‘Howard Hughes feared being overheard and Joan of Arc heard voices that compelled her into action. She hears voices, he’s paranoid of being overheard – somewhere between these two positions Audiology unfolds.’ At the opening, we see a man guiding a small remote-controlled silver balloon that hovers in space. A prostrate body lies motionless upon an expanse of pure white fur rugs. Stage left and right are two ordered rows of tables behind which the cast of five sit when not the centre of attention. There is text spoken directly into a table microphone. Near the beginning Pacitti, in clear diction, announces: ‘Reflecting on miracles and incredible acts of kindness… ’ ‘Eliminate the notion of god – then what are we left with?’

The performance included some atmospheric large-screen video projection both recorded and live; this worked well when showing visually amplified details, such as the wrist of a man lying on a bed. I enjoyed engaging aural paintings such as the sound of rainstorm, church bells and beautiful rousing music. There were sporadic displays of nakedness and small songs.

In a scene that worked for me, a twelve-foot LED box spilt out crimson text held at a jaunty angle by a golden-crowned, silver-body-painted, redface-masked character. This static solitary image, the only motion coming from the streaming poetic words and music moved me enough to feel a hot tear stream down my cheek. This was a rich moment.

Overall, Audiology was so neatly calculated, clinically and stylishly executed, that chance and spontaneity had no space to breathe. We held our breath in anticipation of a revelation, yet received a tidy dose of a theatrical scientific study of the heard and overheard. I wanted a generosity, a warmth, a passing grace, an openness. This was a controlled area where outcome was predestined. I had wanted to see a miracle.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-1
p. 27