Part story-telling, part lecture,Telephonic is an insightful and absorbing trip into the mesmerising and impressive world of Foley artists.
Staged in the round, using fiver Foley artists and a trio of digital wizards, Bennett-Hart brings the world of Foley to the modern audience.
Foley artists, for those unaccustomed with the phrase, is the physical creation of sound effects as opposed to the digital creation. It’s most recognisable and iconic fixture is the use of coconut shells for the sound of horses' hooves. Simply conjure up an image of 1940’s BBC radio dramas with the actors stomping through small trays of gravel or opening and closing a tiny, latched lid to create the sound of an opening door.
But director Tim Bennett Hart’s creation is far removed from the quaint and twee sound effects world of a Radio 4 serial. Staged in the round, using fiver Foley artists and a trio of digital wizards, Bennett-Hart brings the world of Foley to the modern audience with two, almost completely wordless, renditions of classic tales – Sweeney Todd and Little Red Riding Hood. Blood spurts from veins, bones are crunched and gnawed and Mrs Lovett appears to stroll, due to the sound manipulation by the three Mac Book kings, around the entire audience as she squelches human flesh into pies. This is not a show for the faint hearted.
The sound is absorbing and, after putting on the supplied blindfolds, it is easy to forget where one physically is. At one point I had to take off my blindfold for a moment just to regain my bearings and remind myself which way was up. The continuous flow of sound is beyond engaging - it is hypnotic.
After the stories have finished, Bennett-Hart explains how they achieved the effects, a lecture which preferablycould have been longer, but nonetheless promoted verbal incredulity amongst the audience.
This is a show that will enrapture and educate and will have technophiles everywhere squealing with delight