Sarah Wright, Silent Tide

Review in Issue 20-1 | Spring 2008

A miniature satellite describes an arc through the air. A performer spins a disc onto which the moon is projected. A small winged wooden featureless puppet emerges from the sand. All to the strains of bowed found/made instruments. So began Silent Tide, a beguilingly beautiful and misguidedly frustrating show in equal measure.

The ICA is a relatively intimate space, yet we were still given (and needed) opera glasses to have any chance of seeing the actions of this world in miniature. That aside, the piece itself suffers from a lack of coherence and clarity – which is frustrating, as when it worked it produced some dazzling moments: A group partying with fireworks; the rise of an industrial landscape and a cityscape from the dust; an intimate view of the lives of the city’s inhabitants – a woman with a wardrobe of red dresses, an old man who’s TV is on the blink, and a person vacuuming (with live sound).

Then there’s the final coup de theatre as the winged puppet busts into flames and descends Icarus-like, which will live long in the memory; so will the frustration of trying to make sense the soup of sounds and fragments of the world we’re watching.

Sometimes it’s good to leave it to the audience to piece together disparate elements, but I felt like I was left floundering in the dark, alienated by the red plastic binoculars my aching arm held to my nose.

Beautiful but flawed.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-1
p. 31