Ten Days In A Madhouse

Audio and live performance/ 2022
Collaboration with director Douglas Baker
Jack Studio Theatre London

Calum composed and created sound design for this play, directed by Douglas Baker and produced at the Jack Studio Theatre in London. Calum won a Off West End Award for Best Sound Design for his work on this production.

Part live theatre production, part audio drama, the play features one live actor who performs with an entire pre-recorded cast, whom the audience only ever hear. It tells the true story of Nelly Bly, a 19th century journalist who fakes madness to get committed to a notorious asylum, in order to write about the conditions there.

Focusing on the intense psychological experience of Nelly Bly’s journey, each audience member wears headphones, isolating them from the rest of the audience and placing them directly inside Nelly’s head. Calum carefully uses spatiality to make the pre-recorded cast feel present in the room, as well as using speakers placed throughout the theatre to create an interplay between Nelly’s psychological state and the world outside.

This sound design questions the boundaries between live and recorded material in a theatre space, as well as exploring Calum’s recurring theme of sonic representations of psychological states