LOST in TRANS, conceived and performed by Dickie Beau, curated and presented by FADO Performance Art Centre, is currently running at The Theatre Centre as part of Progress Festival. Taking found audio recordings, Beau channels disparate personae and weaves them together to create an offbeat and haunting universe of misplaced characters. Their voices seem to flow through his body, revealing their desires and suggesting rich interior lives that have become lost in space and time.
Beau performs behind a full stage scrim where projected images dance across our field of vision. There are disembodied heads, vast star-scapes, and pulsing waveforms that suggest, perhaps, those tiny vibrating strings of energy that theoretically make up everything in our universe. There is something eerily cosmic about all this, as if Beau is tapping into truths that are massive and eternal. And yet, there is something so intimate, immediate, and rather mundane in the confessions of these voices.
The imagery of this show feels both strange and familiar. The minimal props that show up, the projections that are sometimes jarring, sometimes soothing: it would be very difficult to articulate exactly how and why they work. They are carefully wrought abstractions that are allusive and deeply resonant.
To give you a sense of aesthetic and tone: the overall look and feel reminded me of David Lynch. The visual language of this production is Lynchian in its abstractions. Somehow, intuitively, you know why a man with a horse head and crutches is suddenly there on stage, even if you couldn’t put it into words.
My favourite segments were the longer confessions. Initially, there is something banal about the content. You are given little to no context for any given bit. A disembodied voice speaking to some unknowable other. Yet, as you listen, you begin to invest in the person the voice represents. You can even imagine the person being addressed. The audience is very much an active participant here, creating their own personal, private context for the words being spoken.
Beau’s body language is masterful. The voices seem to be emanating from his physical presence. When glitches occur in the audio, he accompanies them with perfectly organic twitches and convulsions that give dimension to the soundscape.
Some bits are glorious in their explicit sexuality, some are haunting and forlorn in their expressions of yearning. What runs through all of it though is a disarming honesty. None of these voices have any ulterior motives. There is no deception. They just want to speak their truth and have it be part of the universe.
Dickie Beau’s LOST in TRANS is an evocative and poignant experience.
- LOST in TRANS plays until February 10, 2018 at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West)
- Performances run Friday, February 9 at 9:00 pm and Saturday, February at 8:00 pm.
- Tickets are $25
- Tickets can be purchased by phone at 416.538.0988 or online
Photo of Dickie Beau by Joel Fildes.