Lullaby for Catatonics 1967.
A theatre performance with the Soft Machine, the Argentinian dancer Graziella Martinez and the liquid light environment of the Sensual Laboratory. It was performed in Edinburgh during the festival of 1967 and in the Studio de Champs Elysees in Paris during the Paris Biennale (different title) (2).
Studies towards an experiment into the Structure of Dreams 1967/68 (3)
A collaboration between Graziella Martinez and the Sensual Laboratory at the Arts Lab, Drury Lane, London, ran for 70 performances but did not develop into the exploration of the unconscious that was originally intended.
Notes for Appendix 14
1 A further experiment took place during the Round House production of Bodily Fluids and Functions Cf. Appendix 9 when the girl was given an injection to put her to sleep, with the electro encephalogram attached, so that we could tell when she started to dream. The idea was that we would then wake her up and ask her to describe her dream. Graziella Martinez was then going to perform variation on the theme of what the girl was dreaming. Unfortunately she wouldn't go to sleep although the doctor said the injection would have put a horse to sleep. So Graziella and Graham Stevens did variation on their own dream.
2 Deux heures de projection, non de diapositives de paysages stereotypes, mais de formes multicolores d'une extreme mobilite, qui grandissent, eclatent, se resorbent sur un ecran, sur es torses tatoures des musiciens et des danseurs. Formes qui naissent a I'interieur d'une lanterne magique, de melanges de sang, de salive, de sueur et de produits chimiques chauffes par des lampes et grossis par des loupes ...
Paris, Nouvel Observateur.
3 Contemporary Account:-
The basic black room with platform and canvas backdrop fades away into obscurity and from the void emerges triple images of swishing colors. The surrealistic shell is cracked and what slithers out are snail-like creatures only to be overtaken by long orange arms with square endings that finally give way to the deep and som-nambulent sounds of a serenade under the sea. What transforms the theatre at the arts Lab (182, Drury Lane, W.C.2.) into a continuous flow of four dimensional colour and fantasy sequences is the performance of two dancers GRAZIELLA MARTINEZ and TONY-LEE MARSHALL, and the light/sound environment of MARK BOYLE'S - SENSUAL LABORATORY.
The clever objects and the brilliantly designed costumes were well integrated into MISS MARTINEZ'S dance sequences, but I got the feeling that the choreography was much too trite for her dance talents. She showed she could move when she combined with Miss Marshall for a put down the props pick up your feet sequence.
The lasting impression of the evening is that of MARK BOYLE'S light environment. His projection technique slowly becomes a visual voice graphically expounding phenomena both natural and unnatural. Each projection sequence supplies you with a subtle word of the language of the emotion of light. This emotion reaches its climax, fittingly enough, in the last sequence in which dancer, light, sound and props leave the banal reality of the stage and takes you where-ever you want to go - your imagination being your own limit.
What merges is a performance for adults created by very capable adults yet containing the freshness of that ever elusive childlike spirit simplicity.
Lorenzo Ado International Times. Experiment is everywhere: you can now see dazzling juxtapositions of dance, lights and music, by Mark Boyle (last year's Paris Biennale prizewinner) - everywhere, that is, except those temples of a dis-integrating culture, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Festival Hall, etc. Pop, more than any other form of music, is goading us into an understanding of this new Sound and Picture City. Tony Palmer The Observer. II Laboratorio Sensualistico e l'ultima fantasia dell "UNDERGROUND" LONDINESE.
Ma torniamo al nostro Laboratorio Artistico che, poco tempo fa. ha partorito una sua specia di succursale, il Laboratorio Sensualistico. Lo dirige Mark Boyle che e continuamente alle ricerca di amb ienti 'ideali "dove riunirsi.
II culmine del' "Arte Nuova" e pero raggiunto con le presentazioni di balletti in ambienti di suoni eluci molto particolari. I divi del momento sono una ballerina argentina, Graciella Martinez e Tony Lee Marshall. Puo darsi che manchino di abilita tecnica ma hanno sufficente coraggio e una discreta inventiva. Ovviamente, pur di creare un certo effetto si ricorre a qualsiasi sistema e a qualsiasi mezzo. La musica e assordante e non ubbidisce certo alle regole classiche o al dosaggio tra armonia, melodia e ritmo. Le luci e I colori sono violenti e allucinanti, ma nessumo puo negare che un certo risultato forse anche artistico venga raggiunto. In definitva si tratta di ricerche che potrebbero avere un certo peso anche da un punto di vista culturale e non soltanto come curiosita.
Le emozioni debbono essere violente, lo spettatore deve essere convinto a vedere, deve senitire if bisogno di vedere. Qualcosa poi, di questo ambiente creato sia pure a base di volente imposizioni, finira pur con il restare. Naturalmente I redattori dl I.T. sostengono che simili spettacoli hanno bisogno di essere sottolineati da un consumo se non proprio massiccio almeno decente di marijuana o di altri allucinogeni. Haynes e Boyle invece assiscurano che non e necessario drogarssi: un loro spettacolo e, di per se solo, molto plu di una droga.
Suddenly Last Supper
SCREEN OF BUSTS
Begins white and facing audience
Moved to cover door
Covers the door throughout rest of event
Theatrical screams and canned applause from prop. Records, vary intervals
Birth of Venus
Slides are destroyed in the projector with fire and acid. Vary the destruction methods
Projects detail, just Venus
Focus on Girl
Burn Venus Slide
Project Entire Birth of Venus Slide
Destruction of Slides
Projects random film made from discarded off-cuts by Joan
Random film forward and reverse
David exit film on black wall
Film runs off spool
gradually destroys screen by painting it black
moves bust screen reveals other screen
slashes second screen
cuts part of screen away
sprays girl black
Destroys third screen
2nd + 3rd SCREENS
Billows and sways in fan
Third screen destroyed
Takes up position
Revealed nude under Venus slide
is sprayed black
leaves for bath
Revealed bowing etc., in White
variations on taking a curtain call. Actors should stick to bowing and smirking
They dress and exist
Throughout the piece all goods and chattels curtain, light bulbs are removed.
They load and leave.
The audience should see and hear nothing of this activity.
The full role of the audience can't be entirely foreseen but they should emerge eventually into an empty flat. Their participation at any other point would necessitate a reaction. The audience must be regarded as performers.
Notes for Appendix 15
1. Contemporary Account :-
Supported by a rude Welsh friend of main, Dai-the-Travel, I knocked at the door of a large Victorian house in Queensgate, Kensington.
Dai, brought up polite he was, immediately started to introduce himself, unsuccessfully, to a large crowd of beatniks, self-conscious business men. Ivy League types with button-down collars, and beautiful blank girls with button-down minds.
We were all crammed in two rooms drinking Beaujolais out of ice cream cartons and eating fish stew from sea shells.
Apart from a few fringe literary types, including a poet from Private Eye who didn't see eye to eye with Dai, we were mostly strangers to one another.
Boyle invited us to follow him into a pitch-black blind room and sit on the floor.
There was complete silence broken only by a suppressed scream from a girl in Dai's corner. Then like at the pictures, a beam of light lit our faces and Mr. Boyle started to show snippets of film on a whitewashed screen made up from the protruding part of shop window dummies.
Whilst this was going he superimposed a Botticelli on the screen from a magic lantern and proceeded to burn the film deadpan with a plumber's blowlamp.
This was the signal for a young man in black tights to leap forward and splash handfuls of printer's ink over the back and front protrusions.
Two more wheeled the dripping screen away and the film, burning from the Magic Lantern and blazing (in a sense) from the projector, continued on a bed sheet hanging from a line.
The house in Queensgate London where suddenly last Supper was performed, in the ground floor flat.
But before we could attempt to make sense from the disorderly film a fourth man started to rip the screen to tattered shreds with a barber's open razor to reveal a cast of five girls and a man dressed in long johns.
They stood in a line and the film, now hopelessly out of focus and blazing merrily, was screened on the. They just sighed.
Meanwhile the young man with his pot of printer's ink was busy painting a blonde posed like Botticelli's Venus in the altogether.
The nude, who looked vaguely like Mr. Boyle's wife under the paint, ran off whiled the cast started to dress in black combinations.
Not a sound from the audience squatting in bewilderment on the floor.
The girls in the cast pirouetted and threw bouquets of flowers still in the wrapping paper, and bowed and squeaked. "Thank you all for being so lovely."
The film fluttered on the ripped screen. After ten minutes a man in the audience got up. One by one we followed him, ducking politely under the beam of light. There were our coats in a heap on the floor, and paper scattered out towards an open door.
The furniture had gone. The junkyard of municipal engineering had disappeared. The flat was bare. Mr. Mark Boyle and Co. had flown.
We were left alone, a group of self-conscious strangers, without anybody left to say goodbye to, or to thank for an extraordinary evening.
As Dai said, looking around the flat that was even swept bare of fag ends., "What's happening? I don't believe it."
Daily Sketch 1964.
In 1964 Joan Hills and Mark Boyle took a party of people down Pottery Lane, London, W11, on Sunday afternoon. The party arrived at a dirty back entrance marked "Theatre". They made their way along a dark corridor to a room where a row of kitchen chairs faced some blue plush curtains. Eventually the curtains opened and the audience found themselves looking through a shop window into the street. [1,2].
View from the shop window.
Notes for Appendix 16
1. The performance may be adapted to suit any empty shop in any street. On this occasion Boyle discovered the shop for sale on a Friday and borrowed the keys from the estate agent for the weekend. The performance took place on the Sunday and the keys were returned to the agents on the Monday without their discovering why they had been needed.
2. In a collaboration with Ken Dewey, Charles Marowitz and Mark Boyle in the same year the audience arrived for a performance at the Strand Electric Theatre. They were taken straight through the theatre and out the back door. There they got into buses and were taken off on a trip round London. As they drove along the road, various odd activities took place in the street and the bus stopped several times for set pieces in obscure buildings. Eventually the audience were picking out as performers the ordinary pedestrians in the street.
"The audience, packed into hired buses, drove past the scene never absolutely certain whether what they were seeking from their windows was actual or contrived. As they continued their journeys, they discovered more and more 'happenings' in the street, all of these were, in fact, fortuitous. A fascinating kind of confusion ensues. Are we members of an audience watching scenes 'laid on' for us or simply eye witnesses at accidental events?"
Event for Judge, Jury and Prisoner at the Bar
1. The prisoner enters the witness box to give evidence.
2. He swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
3. He makes a serious and profound attempt to tell the whole truth. [1,2].
Any Play or No Play
1. Before the curtain rises, using some ruse (.e.g. party on stage), invite the stalls audience on to the stage, delaying the balcony and gallery audiences.
2. Once the stalls audience is on stage, raise the curtain and announce to the rest of the crowd that they are watching a performance by the stalls audience.
3. Go and sit in the audience yourself. 
Notes for Appendix 18
1. Studio International Account
'Any Play or No Play'
"at Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London, in 1965. While the front curtain was down Boyle invited the audience from the stalls to come on to the stage through the side door. When the curtain went up five minutes later, the stage was full of miscellaneous people milling around, handling the various stage props and trying on the costumes scattered around in vast quantities. Members of the audience, finding themselves in the position of actors, felt that something was expected of them but without being sure what it might be. There were no directions. During the twenty minutes that followed nothing occurred that would suggest that the event was in any way structured. The juke box which was brought on to the stage in order to merge the proceedings with a party failed to work. The event could have been described as an essay in anti-climax no one was happy about it except Mark Boyle, who accepted the outcome unreservedly as something that had occurred as it was meant to. If one provokes chance the result is what it is. The unexpected becomes the fulfullment of expectation. For Boyle the evening would have been more interesting had there been no props at all on the stage. This has also something to do with his attitude to boredom. To him no manifestation of life, whether provoked or not, is intrinsically boring. Boredom exists in the mind of the recipient/consumer/spectator and in his frustrated expectations, heightened by paying a sum of money at the door for which he wants to be recompensed in some way."
'O What a Lovely Whore'
1. Prepare a wide range of activities with maximum participation incentive.
2. Light them with two or three (i.e. not  enough) spotlights on stands with wheels, so that the audience can control them.
3. When the audience start to arrive hold them in a screened off area until they have all gathered.
4. Announce that you're not going to do any event that night and if they want an event, they'll have to do it for themselves.
5. Open screens or curtains.
Notes for Appendix 19
1. The lighting is crucial to the success of the event. There should be a few strong spotlights and that's all. So that people can begin to do things in obscurity if they want to. Then as other members of the audience are controlling the spots they will suddenly find themselves- spot-lit and this heightens their activity.
2. International Times account.
'O What a Lovely Whore'
"A series of events Boyle was invited to put on at the Institute of Contemporary Art was cancelled after a first performance which began in darkness with Boyle shouting over a microphone that if the audience wanted an event they'd have to do it for themselves. Three spotlights came on lighting up various areas of activity.
The audience moved in and went berserk: they worked projectors and tape recorders, performed on numerous plastic instruments, painted by numbers, smashed a piano, took scripts from actors, acted with them or directed the performance, danced with ballet dancers, edited films and projected them into walls, ceiling and people, directed a film of the proceedings, controlled the lighting, jumped on trampolines, prepared a press communique. They decided to build a new type of piano out of the pieces of the old. It began to be the centre of the event. It was smashed and re-smashed, built and rebuilt as the piece developed a rhythm of its own and some hours later stopped suddenly with the gallery ankle deep in debris. The next ICA bulletin commented: 'Owing to the over-whelming success of the first event, the rest of the series has been cancelled.'"
Notes on Requiem for an Unknown Citizen.
Requiem for an Unknown Citizen is a random biological examination of any community anywhere. It is not a metaphor. It is based on the belief that the entire human race is becoming a single and enormous multi cellular animal, and on the conviction that every community, from village to metropolis, already exists as a multi cellular biological entity, with a skeletal system, a respiratory system, a digestive system, a circulatory system, a nervous system, a muscular system, an excretory system, a reproductive system and an endocrine system. Although the Requiem is performed as a theatre piece, it is designed as a research programme to amass information on how these creatures (for example the animals Glasgow, London or Berlin) survive, how they support themselves, breathe, feed, think, move, excrete, reproduce and adapt.
The performance of the piece in a theatre, a shopping precinct or a backyard is a presentation of events that occurred in particular, randomly selected, places when the performers equipped with unobtrusive film cameras and tape recorders visited at random times and for random durations various randomly selected houses, factories, public buildings, parks, squares and open places, canning factories, refrigerated warehouses, distilleries, shops, super markets, restaurants, churches, government buildings, theatres, schools, laboratories, radio stations and art centres, police stations, army barracks, junk sites, rubbish dumps, funerals, polluted localities, stations, reception centres, garages, hospitals, asylums, prisons etc. etc. Where the various biological systems of the community can clearly be seen in operation. The precise manner of performing the piece is in a detailed score, which can be obtained from the Sensual Laboratory and should reach the performers one month before the performance. But the information recorded on film and tape and video at these randomly selected places becomes the basis of a theatre presentation. Necessarily, out of respect for the privacy of the unknown citizen, the films cannot be shown without consent, but a performance can be given based on the films. This may be a documentary presentation of events, or an acted presentation in style of acting. It may be a dance presentation, impressionistic or expressionistic, but it should strive to present the actual events, the mood of the events, the circumstances around the events, an onlookers reaction to the events or some aspect of the events as objectively as possible. The order and duration of the acted or dance sequences is selected at random. The intervals between are also random, thus, one night, the acted element of the Requiem could occupy the stage solidly for two or more hours and all the sequences could overlap with one another. Another night the acted element could be over in half an hour leaving the stage to the physical examination of the individual cell (i.e. the human being) and the presentation of the context of the unknown citizen, the ever changing elemental environment of earth, air, fire and water, insects, reptiles and water creatures. On another night the acted elements might each be of only a few seconds duration but they might be injected, more or less evenly, throughout the show. The performance can begin before the audience arrive, continue after they have departed. It can involve the audience or ignore them. In one performance the audience might find themselves taking part in a funeral procession when they arrive, in another, as they arrive in the performance area they will see a figure on an inflated, transparent mattress set on a hospital trolley. The figure wears a mask and has an electro encephalogram attached to the brain. This person is sleeping and the breathing can just be heard. Once the audience have assembled the breathing begins to be amplified slowly as the house lights dim and spotlights isolate the head of the sleeping person with its mesh of electrode wires, on the gauze pulse the projected brain rhythms from the oscilloscope of the ECG. Gradually the various strata of the performance begin to get under way. These strata react to one another and interlock with one another, deliberately or at random, throughout the performance. They present various aspects of the unknown citizen physical, mental and social in the context of his elemental environment of earth, air, fire, water, insects, reptiles and water creatures.
The unknown citizen is a type of everyone. He can be that part of each one of us that is private, personal, unpublic, unknown. He may be the part of our minds that is unknown, even to ourselves. He could be a person alive or dead who perhaps has control or influence over our minds (maybe it could be a whole genealogy extending back into racial pre-history). The unknown citizen must also inevitably mean to many people the lonely, the depressed, the friendless. He is the man who despairs to the point of suicide. He is the unborn citizen. He is anyone whose death has caused in us a grief that for any reason we do not wish to share. Everyone is an unknown citizen and I wish to pay my respects.
The general score may be interpreted as follows. The lines represent activities of intermediate length. The circles represent events at the beginning and end of activities. The various activities may be completely independent of one another, pursued relentlessly without any reference to other activities in the performance area, beginning, timing, ending and ordering sequences at random. Or the performers may allow themselves to be affected by other strata, modulating and adjusting their performance accordingly. Perhaps in certain performances a director may integrate the strata, ordering, timing and modulating them to fit his own conception. The total length of the performance is variable, depending on chance, the wishes of a director, prior agreement among the performers, the needs of the occasion or the feeling of the participants during the piece. Any sequence may be omitted or modified. During the performance and at the preparation stage the utmost care and consideration should be shown for the feelings of others.
One result of following the score might lead to a performance like this.
1. A stage set with three circular white screens.
2. On the right hand screen a continuing performance of the event Son et Lumiere for Earth, Air, Fire & Water (cf. Appendix 6) continues without reference to the other strata of the Requiem.
3. On the left hand screen a performance of insects, reptiles and water creatures (cf. Appendix 8) continues throughout without reference to the rest of the performance.
4. Against the centre screen, a man and girl performing the examination of an individual cell of the animal Edinburgh for example, perform Son et Lumiere for bodily fluids and functions (cf. appendix 9), only relating to the acted element, when the sleeping girl is wakened as the ECG shows she's dreaming and she relates her dream into a microphone and the performers improvise variations based on her dream, while she and the man celebrate intercourse lit by the projected video image of the oscilliscopes of their heartbeats and brain rhythms.
5. A photographer, ignoring the rest of the performance, photographs the members of the audience, develops the reversal film and projects the slides on to a gauze and burns them in the projector so that the audience watch their own image appearing and disintegrating.
6. On the right hand side of the stage with an array of chemical glass ware and equipment, with various experiments going on, someone is amplifying the hissing and the blurping and maybe the occasional small explosion and with a mixer building a sound accompaniment to the performance drawn from all the strata, using the sounds of the body, of the animals and of the elements.
7. (1) A group of actors or dancers present relationships, discoveries and events that occurred at a building (selected at random with a dart in a map) when, using some ruse, they went there and maybe the people were talking about the fabric of the house and locality. (Duration maybe 20 seconds. Followed by inactivity 7 minutes.)
(2) They present the situations at a randomly selected spot in a public park or open space, or football ground. Random. (Duration 1 1/2 minutes. Followed by 30 seconds inactivity.)
(3) They present the situation in a randomly selected restaurant, canning factory, dairy or other food processing place in which one or more of the cast got a job for a while and selected at random the exact spot and the exact time at which they recorded the presentation. (Duration maybe 4 minutes. Followed by 7 minute interval.)
(4) They present events that occurred when they selected, at random, an individual in a street and followed him with an unobtrusive film camera and tape recorder. (Duration 12 minutes. Interval 45 seconds.)
(5) (a) They present events that occurred when they selected at random from a list of many, one issue of genuine communal interest and raised the issue at local government level and followed and recorded as far as possible the progress of the issue. (Duration 7 minutes 30 seconds. Interval 11 minutes.)
(b) They run a clip from whatever film is showing at the local cinema that week. Random duration. (8 minutes 15 seconds. Interval 1 minute.)
(c) They run a video of whatever was on TV at a randomly selected time.
If there was no programme they just video project the blank screen. (Duration 3 minutes 15 seconds. Interval 2 minutes 15 seconds.)
(d) They present the situation discovered at a local school, technical college, university, art school, selected at random. They selected at random a room within the building and infiltrated the building at a random selected time. (Duration 2 minutes 25 seconds. Interval 5 minutes 5 seconds.)
(6) They present events etc. following a visit to the law court, where they selected an accused person at random and followed his case up. (Duration 15 minutes 5 seconds. Interval 2 minutes 15 seconds.)
(7) They present events that occurred at a randomly selected funeral, or the local rubbish dump or the sewage farm or sewers. (Random duration 3 minutes 5 seconds. Random interval 1 1/2 minutes.)
(8) Events that occurred at the station departures and arrivals, when the actors told everyone they were going away for a long time. Also the reception given to strangers. The waiting room (5 minutes 10 seconds Duration. 35 seconds interval.)
(9) Events that occurred at a randomly selected hospital or asylum in the district. Maybe one of the actors knew someone in there and followed up his situation with interviews etc. (15 minutes 35 seconds Interval.)
1. This might have been one of the results of following the score. But it should be stressed that the situation is almost totally flexible. The only absolute rule being that genuinely random procedures must be used to select the places, the times and durations.
2. At all times the cameras and tape recorders should be as unobtrusive as possible. Even when they aren't seen cameras tend to affect the issue, "The application of the meter affects the circuit".
3. At all times the performers observing the scene should be a unobtrusive as possible. Although if they can help, they should help, but through normal channels until all normal channels have been tried.
4. It's a multi sensual performance. It's meant to be performed in the forest of Finland and the villages west of Fez, as a means of ingratiating ourselves with everyone around. So it's meant to be a spectacular. It's not to be an arid doctrinaire production. Wherever it's performed, it's meant to show the unknown citizen (and he may not be around much longer) as a vibrant being, a cell in a violently exciting animal that exists in a brilliant dynamic environment, because etc. etc., should come together as an accurate document and an electrifying experience because that's the kind of scene I want to know about.
We would like to thank
and Fairey Surveys
for their photographs.
Philip Lloyd Smee
for their kind help