Runtime: 1h 00m
Voiceover artists are referred to as the talent. And it is a very particular talent. Some voiceover artists are prized for their particular and distinctive voices. Others have a gift for being able to do multiple voices. It is one such voiceover artist who takes centre stage in the latest from the brilliant Bristol-based company, Action Hero, and independent artist Deborah Pearson. I have never seen a show from these artists that didn’t make you sit up a little straighter and want to peer a little more closely. The show works like this: on stage, Action Hero’s Gemma Paintin sits in a small sound booth. Off stage, two disembodied voices ask her to conjure different voices for a series of products. For most of us, our voice is one of our most distinctive qualities, so what does it mean for authenticity and humanity when someone has many voices? Can we trust them? Should we trust them?
On stage is a small sound booth; inside it sits a woman, alone. She is a voice-over artist. Off stage, in a space never seen but only heard, two disembodied voices ask her to conjure different voices for commercials, self-help audiobooks, meditation tapes, computer games, robo-calls …. anything and everything. Is she the powerful protagonist in her own narrative, literally building her own reality – and ours too – or is her voice being used to construct something more complicated? The Talent is a show about the voice and human presence in the 21st Century. Where does the voice live? How will her voice live on, outside her body, if it can take on a life of its own? The Talent asks what kind of ghosts will haunt us when we’re gone, and what the legacy of the human voice might be in a non-human future. Age Recommendation: 12+