© 2012 Stephen Mottram. All rights reserved.
Like the snatched scenes from a nightmare the little bodies are torn apart for their seeds….
The show is contained within a small, raised, elliptical shaped stage, enclosed by black curtains. It is a dark and mysterious play metaphorically as well as physically.
In a style that reflects influences from sources as diverse as the fifteenth century paintings of Hieronymus Bosch to the films of the Quay Brothers, the action and sound blend together to produce a hypnotic, gripping and shocking experience. Glyn Perrin’s score is an acoustic picture in its own right, which heightens the dramatic tension.
The human-like marionettes are the protagonists – the seed carriers. As they crawl and leap about the stage area, the least nimble are collected in a large net, or caught in traps by the only live performer (Stephen Mottram), an ambiguous figure who both grows and then harvests these creatures.
Like the snatched scenes from a nightmare, played out in horrific slow motion, the little bodies are torn apart for seeds. These collected seeds are then cultivated – with the tender, nurturing birth imagery of plants and animals – to supply more creatures to this ruthless eco-
system. Meanwhile the others, who have avoided the traps, power up a huge machine using treadmill, bicycle and winding gears to manufacture exotic disguises as fish, birds and insects. These disguises make their wearers less vulnerable and more able to survive the dangers of the system.
THE SEED CARRIERS is without dialogue and lasts for just under an hour. It is strongly atmospheric and not suitable for children under any circumstances.
Technical – The Seed Carriers needs a darkened space, ideally with raked seating. The minimum stage area is 6m width X 4m depth X 3.15m height. Get-in time 3hours+, get-out 1 hour and 15mins.
“Mottram’s art is formidable, like his imagination. I have never before seen the eeriness of marionettes combined so insistently with dread”
“It was some relief to turn, at the ICA the following day, to the exquisite decorum of Stephen Mottram’s Animata…. It’s hard to know why we can be so affected by marionettes,but this dispassionate parable pricks ducts you didn’t even know you had.” The Independent on Sunday
“Brilliant…. Definitely not to be missed”
“It’s not just Mottram’s exquisite craft but his potent vision which merits our attention.”
The Glasgow Herald