'It must be told (Again)' 2014
-Installation and repeated performance lecture
(Above: 'Black In Woman The', framed inket print, clock mechanism, engraved trafolyte plaque. All photos Kevin Sykes)
A new version of "It Must Be Told." - the PowerPoint lecture written about a long-running West End ghost play, first presented at 4 Days 2013: Curtain Call at Arnolfini Bristol. This time presented at Enclave in Deptford, London, and made more elaborate with a series of new props, set details and an updated version of the talk making reference to a number of new research strategies.As before, the 1hr unscripted talk is delivered three times in quick succession:
‘The First Night': 7pm, Friday 23rd May,
‘The Matinee': 3pm, Saturday 24th May,
‘The End of The Run': 7pm, Saturday 24th May
The talk is a candid description of my growing fascination with this particular production that has now run for 25 years, more than 10,000 performances, barely changed, in the same central London theatre.Structured to replicate the mannered, self-referential, relentlessly repeating nature of the play itself, the talk's focus is on the core theme of the energies and efforts required to retell a story, and the various consequences of doing so.
The talk is built around 64 hi-res scans of the near-identical adverts for the play
'The Woman in Black' at the Fortune Theatre, Covent Garden, that have appeared in the pages of Time Out London listings magazine, collected by me from 2005-2014.
It also includes excerpts from my one-off 2hr acting lesson at RADA; dramatic recitations of footnotes and stage directions; audio of my interview with the original 'Woman in Black' actress; unauthorised photography of the production; frank discussion about the negligable value of the entire project; a big finish where
I actually act; and a Q&A with each audience.
The exhibition, which doubled as the set for the talks, was a month-long installation in the Enclave Guest Projects gallery space, coming fully into play for the talks on the last weekend of the exhibition. This set incorporates adaptations of the props from the first version of "It Must Be Told." and also a new set of hand made and found objects that furthered my understanding of the project, including:+ Slideshow of all 64 scans of Time Out advert pages, fading transitions.
+ A framed, reversed, 5x enlargement of one advert, fitted with clock motor and plaque engraved with play quote.
+ Appropriated photographs from 'The Fans Of The Woman in Black' Facebook page.
+ An approximate scale model of The Fortune Theatre, based only on my knowledge as an audience member:(i.e. view of the theatre from the street, view from the stalls and circle, Ticket Master seating plans. Model then colour-coded based on my certainty: pink for areas unsure of, yellow for certain, purple for not a clue.)
+ A wooden replica of an imagined backstage piece of metal equipment.
+ Video trailer for the exhibition and talks, playing on a loop in the space.
+ 12x black and white enlargements of sections of advert scans.
+ 22 chairs and calculated seating layout.
+ A custom removable wall sticker of Hermit Crab graphic.
+ Nine (or ten) lemons scattered randomly across the floor. Refreshed weekly, chosen to look like archetypal lemons.
(Above: Blown up hi-res scans of Time Out theatre listings pages; 'Black In Woman The' framed kinetic poster;
seating markings and lemons on floor.)
(Above: Model of the Fortune Theatre with lamp and mirror. The model made in cardboard from my memories of the building as an audience member - from visiitng the theatre myself and the layout diagrams on ticketing websites. Then painted with coloured aerosols, yellow for areas I'm confident about, white for uncertain and purple for unknown areas.)
(Above: 'Making Of' table of ambiguous ephemera, including - sketches of gallery installation; paint test board for Theatre model; Two versions of the Woman in Black programme showing edits to the content over time; a lemon.)
(Above: 'Hermit Crab' clip art symbol by Jeff Buchino, enlarged into movable wall vinyl sticker; lemon.)