Labyrinth, part of the Dreamhouse project, by the artist’s group Ship of Fools combined spatial, ritualistic, and dreamlike elements. As in many other ‘games’ the user finds themselves in a house. A walk through the Dreamhouse offered access to a number of rooms or experiences; each designed by an artist, reworking traditional storytelling structures. Various rooms were appropriately matched to the different psyches of those involved in authoring the piece. So the house became an interactive theatre, where different tales are triggered by audience exploration. The bland domestic environment of a real suburban house (in fact a real Barrett’s ‘Show Home’ in a suburban estate at Bradley Stoke, the negative equity capital of the U.K.) became the main interface.
In my own contribution, Labyrinth various devices-doors, windows, mirrors and other objects, opened gateways into the mythological world. I sought to employ the resonance of poetic verse drama to unpack a number of thematics around fatherhood, overwhelming passion and ‘Real Politick’ suggested by the original Theseus and Daedalus legends. The transition in Greece from the worship of the Goddess to Apollonian religion is explored in the myth, where the Frankenstein-like quest for knowledge has equally dire consequences for the inventor. Daedalus commits murder, loses a son, and creates the monstrous Minotaur through his overweening pride in science.
The piece explores these themes through dramatised video and a verse structure, which utilised parallel monologues (or duologues), set in dialectic opposition for each linked pair of protagonists. The verse is constructed so that cross-counterpoints occur with every phrase. The verse reads vertically for the individual speaker and horizontally for each pairing. The freedom to switch video streams at any time allowed the audience to reconstruct meaning somewhere between the two opposing narrations. The development of irony and pathos demanded that no single monologue be privileged. Writing for such an interface involved a new and precise multilineal approach to scripting.
Director and casting-Bonnie Hurren/ Video-Jon Dovey /Sound-Bob Prince Costumes Sam Pine/ Actors: Kim Hicks(Pasphae), Bob Willington(Mintaur), Alan Moore(Minos), Bob Waller (Aegeus), Andrew Hilton(Daedalus), Patricia Marlowe(Sybil), John Gregor(Talus), David Forester(Theseus), Alan Coveney(Dionysis), Amanda Villamajor(Ariadne)
Thanks to UWE and Show of Strength