Four people and their life size video doubles inhabit a real and imaginary, half-physical and half-virtual space, often occupying both at once. Mare’s Nest was a performance about double, triple and quadruple lives interacting in the complex, augmented space where architecture and video meet.
Co-produced by and premiered at La Batie Festival, Geneva, in September 2001. It was funded by the Arts Council of England, London Arts and the British Council.
"A bewitching piece of theatre about the rational, box-like restrictions of modern life and the irrepressible fantasies we conceal within them. But as always with Station House Opera, you need to be alert to the undercurrents. Director Julian Maynard Smith constantly plays with your sensory perceptions, consistently spruces up your mind the more you look, the more your eyes deceive you. At the end of 90 minutes only one thing is certain: you’ve spent an evening in the presence of a rich and distinctive talent."
Time Out (theatre)
"Pushes new realms of complexity and breath-taking timing… neatly challenging our voyeuristic desire for total information, this is perhaps the only theatre to embody the idea of multiple parallel words."
"Deliberately frustrating, provocative and stimulating ... and unlike anything else in theatre today.”
"Quite astonishing technical and dramatic ambition"
"An elaboration of the territory explored in Roadmetal, Sweetbread; but what an elaboration… On screen Julian Maynard Smith paces about like a caged animal. If this were theatre you’d imagine him on stage; since it’s a gallery, he seems trapped inside a picture ... and everything is complicated by the transmigration of souls back and forth from real to virtual space.”
Time Out (visual arts)
"Richly layered and richly confusing, the actions and interactions of Mare’s Nest present a relentless and dynamic spectacle bordering on the surreal. .... the immaculate timing and the building of layer upon layer of intricate fabrication is utterly absorbing - a relentless but subtle ‘tour de force’."
Live Art Magazine