News from the Seventh Floor
Created by Louise Ann Wilson + Wils Wilson
Written by Bridget O’Connor + Peter Straughan
Composed by Olly Fox
Co-produced by wilson+wilson and Watford Palace Theatre
News from the Seventh Floor took audiences of 25 on a journey around Clements, one of the country's oldest department stores, after-hours. Journeying the length and breadth of the store, from hellish boiler room to dusty attic and eventually out onto the rooftop car park, they followed a gripping story of obsessive love, death and redemption.
Guided by Sidney Glock (Deka Walmsley), a stooped old gentleman, the audience seem to be on a kind of memorial lecture in remembrance of Sidney’s friend Jimmy and their happy times working together. However, assumptions are continually confounded as over the next hour and a half a very different story emerges, one of desperate love, betrayal, jealousy and revenge, played out over forty years, centred on the naïve and ‘slightly absurd’ figure of shop-girl Iris Gale (Debra Penny).
'Superb retail therapy for the imagination.'
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
Moving through a ‘real’ place, the audience became immersed in an absorbing, multi-sensory narrative. Members of the audience felt that they were ghosts, walking through layers of time and reality.
'We are guided down twisting passages and up steep flights of stairs, into stuffy stock rooms and a cold claustrophobic attic, across darkened shopfloors, and up onto the roof. And all the time the atmosphere becomes more ominous, emotionally violent and starkly dramatic.'
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
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