Lend me your eyes

Lend me your eyes and I’ll lend you my ears: a blind date with Vernon & Burns

We all get lost in the dark sometimes. Vernon & Burns shed some light on the matter in a theatrical radio play that displays a distinct lack of vision. Taking as a starting point the dilemma of how to reconcile the visually theatrical with the sonic dimension of radio, they will explore the concept of audio descriptions for the visually impaired with a performance which shouldn’t work on the radio, producing an off kilter audio vérité variety show. This collision between hörspiel and horseplay, fact and fiction, and indeed Vernon and Burns will produce something we’ll call vaudioville.

A theatrical audio-visual performance staged as part of the exhibition ‘Open Field’ at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow in 2008. The initial idea was to produce a work that would function both as a radio play and as a performance before a live audience. It was a mixture of music, documentary, sound art and theatre. Amongst the catalogue of things that would not work on the radio, the play included tap dancing, mime, ventriloquism and a comical burlesque striptease. Presented alongside this were documentary elements including interviews recorded with Glasgow and Edinburgh audio describers with a scripted live audio description by actors conveying the events of the performance as they unfolded – on occasions, not entirely accurately. The live recording of this performance was to be used as a basis for a post-considered radio version including an additional level of audio interpretation to further obfuscate what actually happened on that night. It has not yet made it to the air waves…

Barry Burns (himself)
Mark Vernon (himself)
Anna McLauchlan (audio describer 1)
Rob Kennedy (audio describer 2)