Sound&Fury began with an invitation from Battersea Arts Centre’s (BAC) to to present a piece for its Playing in the Dark season – theatre works to be staged in total darkness. With Christopher Logue’s War Music, a poetic reimagining of Homer’s Iliad, the company staked its claim for one of the most innovative theatre making outfits. Its highly imaginative and visceral work sold out for the season, was later restaged in Bristol again to sell-out audiences and critical acclaim and was invited by the BBC to play a part in its Millennium Music Week, 2000.
With the award of a London Arts Board Process Grant (2000-2001), Sound&Fury began experimenting with the form of theatre in the dark. It conducted a two-week long rigorous investigative workshop process to discover new techniques of storytelling and theatre with the use of sound. In 2001 it began developing The Watery Part of the World, a piece inspired by Herman Melville’s whaling epic Moby-Dick. The show ran at BAC for three weeks to critical acclaim and sell-out audiences and was chosen to be part of the inaugural This Way Up touring project, funded by Arts Council England, billed as a tour of ‘the future of British theatre’ taking in Bath, Warwick, Glasgow, Maidenhead and Manchester. In August 2003 The Watery Part of the World was presented as part of the British Council Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival and as a result was invited to perform at the Makedonski Narodni Teatar, Skopje, Macedonia in March 2004.
It was in the same year that production company Fuel undertook to look after the company and its produce its work. The relationship has flourished.
The first work produced by Fuel, Ether Frolics, explored the history and contemporary practice of anaesthesia and questions of consciousness. It built on previous experimentation with the form of theatre in the dark. Ether Frolics was created in collaboration wiht Shunt artists and funded by the Wellcome Trust. It ran at the Shunt Vaults (under London Bridge) in summer 2005 again to sell out audiences and critical acclaim and was shown as part of the British Council Showcase at Edinburgh 2005.
In April 2005 Sound&Fury won an innovative award from the Arvon foundation to experiment with their process by joining forces with a creative collaborator.
Arvon identified award-winning writer Bryony Lavery and together with performers Hannah Ringham and Tim Crouch and visual artist Mark Anstee the collaborative team spent an intensive week at the The Hurst, The John Osborne Arvon Centre in Shropshire. The creative point of departure was the story of the Kursk, the Russian submarine disaster in 2001. The shared skills of theatrical storytelling, writing, performance, visual art and sound design coalesced to create a stunning but embryonic performance piece and a startling new theatrical language.
Kursk was first performed at the Young Vic in London in June 2009 and was subsequently selected to be part of the British Council Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A sell out run at the Young Vic followed in 2009 followed by A UK tour in 2010 and another sell out run at the Young Vic. Kursk played at Sydney Opera House Studio Theatre in October 2011 to great critical acclaim. It is available for touring.
Sound&Fury's most recent show, Going Dark, uses our innovative theatre vocabulary of immersive surround sound design, moments of total darkness and imaginative lighting and projections, to explore contemporary society's lost connection with the night sky and its wonder at the cosmos.
It was selected to be part the Linbury Biennial Prize for Stage Design 2009. The overall winner of the 2009 prize, Aleš Valášek, is working with Sound&Fury on the show.
Following a successful period of research and development at the Roundhouse Studio Theatre in January 2010, Going Dark embarked on an autumn tour around the UK over the course of October and November 2011. The tour will be continuing throughout February and March 2012. More information on Going Dark and future tour dates can be found here.