Dickens in the Dark

Dickens in the dark

Review here Event page  here

This was a collaboration of sound art and
theatre (With Wireless Mystery Theatre)  in a semi-derelict abandoned Victorian swimmig

 pool and bathhouse. The Dickens stories performed were

“The Signalman” ,  ‘The Ghost in the Bridal Chamber’, “Take with a Pinch of Salt”.

Partof the installation included sound in 14 different cubicles each of which housed a
bath and a toilet. Audience members entered a cubicle, closed the door behind them
and sat down. Again, the installation took place in complete darkness. Each cubicle
contained two small speakers, one hidden in the bath and one at the head of the bath
from which emanated the narration. The sound effect of the bath filling with water
initiated the first scene. This is another example of how spatial sound can work, even
with only one speaker, if the cognitive elements are in place.
As each cubicle had identical sounds feeding into each speaker it made use of the
precedence effect . Even 14 sets of speakers
were playing the same sounds, people simply located the voice and sound effects in
the cubicle nearest to themselves rather than it appearing to be a cacophony of
There were a further set of larger speakers positioned high up in the corners of the
room. Certain elements of the story would blossom into sound scenes which
occupied the whole space; for example, a steam train passed through the room at
one point, and at another, all 32 individual speakers was used to give a different
voice to each to create the effect of a crowd muttering and shouting.
In the abandoned swimming pool next door, a pool which it was subsequently
revealed had been used as a morgue in the Second World War, hidden speakers
with wide directivity in a quadraphonic array in the corners of the pool created the
sound of ghostly swimmers swimming lengths and water sounds emanated from
the pool.