THE TELL-TALE HEART
In Little Earthquake’s stage adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart I shared the stage with the actor Laurence Saunders creating live foley sound effects as he recounted Poe’s dark and gripping tale of murder in the dark.
“I was never kinder to the old man than in the week before I killed him…
In the heart of a bustling city, a wealthy recluse hides behind a barricade of bolted doors and blacked-out windows. His only companion is a private nurse, entrusted with taking care of him.
After many months of confinement, suspicion and resentment grow between the pair until the nurse hatches a foolproof plan to dispose of his patient. When the deed is done, the silence of the seemingly empty house is quickly shattered by a curious thumping beneath the floorboards…”
The performance demanded several hundred sound cues, some were recorded sounds that I designed but the majority were amplified live sound effects created with a huge variety of props, drawing on the techniques of film foley and radio drama. The actor’s performance space contained only a single chair so the detail and complexity of the sound were vital to realise the scenes and actions that were taking place. All of this was carefully choreographed to allow the audience to hear what they couldn’t see. This included some particularly gruesome moments such as the dismemberment of a dead body in a tin bath.
The Tell-Tale Heart toured numerous English studio theatres and rural touring venues from Autumn 2013 until November 2014.