Dreamthinkspeak, Don't Look Back

Review in Issue 17-4 | Winter 2005

Inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Don't Look Back is a moving exploration of love and death. It is a truly site-responsive piece: seen first in a dilapidated manor house in Sussex, it has since transferred to numerous other places, and although many elements remain constant, the piece is transformed in response to each new site in which it is placed and from which it gains new meaning. The constant elements include visual set-pieces: a deserted wedding banquet; a doll's house peopled by projected images (director Tristan Sharps is fond of the metaphor of filmed character as ghost); video of a funeral journey across water. There's the melancholic sound of a violin emanating from an empty music stand and the occasional appearance of a live performer, including a bride who magically fades away in front of our eyes. In the Edinburgh Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, dreamthinkspeak take full advantage of the given environment. Audience members enter in twos and threes and it is easy to find yourself alone, listening to the echoing footsteps from another part of the building as you make your way through seemingly endless corridors filled with entry books, and traipse up echoing metal staircases, until you reach a viewing point from the top of the well of the building from which you experience a sort of theatre of geometry, watching black-suited clerks progress along walkways which spiral dizzily from our bird's-eye viewpoint to a ground far below. This is not theatre for passive audiences but theatre in which the audience is actively engaged in interaction with the work.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Date Seen
  1. Aug 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-4
p. 18