Wireframe, North Hill Relay

Review in Issue 13-1 | Spring 2001

Inside The Lion and Unicorn’s theatre space is a booth. In the booth there are headphones and stools for up to four people – although on this occasion I was the sole audience member. Above the primitive-looking control panel – reminiscent of the control of a 50s B-movie rocket – is a blacked-out gauze window. Out of the comer of one’s eye, one can see slide projections which continue, I think, once the lighting changes and an arctic diorama is revealed.

Throughout the show’s 25 minute duration, the audience has the choice of listening to the voice of Tryphena Mulford or, by flicking a switch, listening to the music (presumably composed by Wireframe member Adam Keeper). For the most part I opted to listen to the voice, which appeared to be issuing instructions – instructions that were frustratingly vague and constantly beyond clear understanding. The controls also enabled the audience members to turn on lights on the tiny platforms that grew out of the wintry landscape. Being alone in the booth I took the opportunity to use all four controls, desperate to make sense of the game this landscape seemed to be playing.

North Hill Relay is a genuinely unique piece of work. It is devoid of actors – unless one counts the puppet that occasionally appeared. Perhaps it was because I was alone but the puppet provided the more reassuring moments of this unsettling show and, I blush to admit this, at one point I even waved to it!

In North Hill Relay, Wireframe create a kind of creepy, ambient theatre that defies easy categorisation, but rewards careful observation.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-1
p. 28