Way Out West, the Sea Whispered Me
Times of London review
Cupola Bobber's 4th evening length performance.
"I do not believe that these men sit by the sea all day and all night so as not to miss the time when the whiting pass." - WG Sebald
An internal adventure of miniscule proportions, Way Out West, the Sea Whispered Me studies the action of the Sea, both as mythology and as presence. Performing the destructive magnetism of The Sea using Cupola Bobber’s home-spun minimal aesthetic and poker-faced absurdist charm, the show builds an entrancing exploration of how The Sea functions as a dwarfing muse of existential contemplation, a place of leisure, and as heartless destroyer. Viewed from Edwardian sea-side resorts and surrounding “work towns”, the disappeared sea-side town of Hallsands, the dissappearing town of Dunwich, and 1930’s era dust bowl Kansas, The Sea becomes understood as a location of projected dreams, where loss and hope are inextricably linked.
Using a multi-layered square tarp artfully manipulated to locate the performance in the sea, on the land, in the sky, and in the theater, and with inspiration from the performance duos of Laurel and Hardy and Gilbert and George, the duo Cupola Bobber create an insightful and rewarding multifarious pastiche full of intelligence, fortitude, generosity, and imaginative wit.
“Looking for machinery, we discovered the sea. We walked across the bay, and had to imagine the water; we went swimming in the sand. Looking for perspective, we found ourselves upside down. ‘...and so on and so on, picture after picture, incident after incident, a drifting panorama of ever changing, ever dissolving views manufactured by my mind without any help from me.’(Mark Twain)“ – Cupola Bobber
Way Out West, the Sea Whispered Me is accompanied by a Reading Companion and a hand made limited edition program. Reading Companion contributors include; David Williams, Ian Abbott, Alice Booth, Simon Bowes, Lucy Cash, Karen Chistopher, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Zach Dodson, Jeff Harms, CJ Mitchell, Byan Saner. The limited edition program is being designed and fabricated by Ian Abbott
We have also devised a durational performance for a public space, as a companion action to this evening length performance, read about it here: Wave Machine #2.
Links Hall, Chicago, IL; April 17-26, 2009
Fusebox Festival, Austin, TX; May 1 & 2, 2009
PS122, New York, NY; September 24-27, 2009
Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, UK; February 22 & 23, 2010
The Green Room, Manchester, UK; February 26, 2010
Exeter Pheonix, Exeter, UK; March 2, 2010
Chichester Showroom, Chichester, UK; March 4, 2010
Northumbria University Theatre, Newcastle, UK; October 26, 2010
Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, UK; November 2, 2010
Axis Arts Centre, Crewe, UK; November 4, 2010
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK; November 8, 2010
The Basement, Brighton, UK; November 10, 2010
SACRED at Chelsea Theatre, London, UK; November 14, 2010
Workshop Theatre, Leeds, UK; November 17/18, 2010
Wickham Theatre, Bristol, UK; November 23, 2010
University of Plymouth, UK; November 25, 2010
"Plodding through their risible, makeshift world, hoisting big, ugly tarps to approximate sweeping landscapes, these lugs wax oafishly poetic on the sea's paradoxical power to sustain life and erode civilizations. Like Laurel and Hardy, the mismatched pair (Myers is all diligence, Fiehn all inertia) express a stumbling kind of grace, striving to squeeze profundity from artfully inadequate materials."
-From the Chicago Reader's Critic's Choice, HERE.
"A few of the show’s jokes are like darts flying right past your ear to thunk into a bull’s eye on the wall behind your head, but most of the punchlines are revealed like the pale, soft bodies of victims slowly stripping off their clothes at gunpoint. I imagined what Samuel Beckett doing standup would be. It’s transfixing, feels very new and, like the rest of the work, I really enjoyed it."
-From the Chicago blog trailerpilot, HERE.
"Focused on the sea, the piece is woven together with threads of different historical moments and psychological affects related to the ocean, from the nostalgia of seaside resort towns to a gloriously bizarre erosion narrative that tells the story of buildings and even towns that have slipped into the sea, and, as a perfect foil, the Depression dust bowl of Kansas. The piece is nearly as intellectually engaged and critically connected as an academic essay."
-From the New City Chicago review, HERE.
Technical Assistance: Nat Ward with Michelle Faust
Promotional Photograghs: Jennifer Korff
Special thanks to: Alice Booth, Nuffield Theatre Lancaster, CJ Mitchell, Vallejo Gantner, Jennifer Korff, Stacie Johnson, Lanternhouse International, Goat Island, Lane Reylea, Jeanne Dunning, Michael Rakowitz, Rachel Damon
Way Out West, the Sea Whispered Me is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Links Hall and PS122 in partnership with the National Performance Network. Major contributers of the National Performance Network are Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: www.npnweb.org.
This show is being co-produced by Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster.