Claire Trévien & Matt Stalker in The Shipwrecked House

November 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Having transformed myself from Live Theatre’s barmaid to blogger for the evening I waited in anticipation of Claire Trévien’s debut poetry collection The Shipwrecked House transformed for the stage…

The evening commenced with a short set from the incredibly talented performance poet Rowan McCabe whose playful rhymes and flair for story-telling complemented the evening immensely.

Following on from McCabe was the sensational singer-songwriter Matt Stalker who entertained with a set of songs which had been inspired by the clinical work and poetry of the 1960s psychiatrist R.D Laing, a series of character pieces which reflected upon the relationships between people and places. Stalker concluded his set with a debut performance of his poetry inspired by his love of language and poetry I couldn’t think of a more perfect way of introducing Trévien’s The Shipwrecked House.

As the performance began to unfold the blackened stage setting became an abandoned house which rattled with the wrath of the wind; littered with boxes and chairs, strewn with netting, a space of intrigue and excitement indicated by Trévien’s childlike exploration of the place.

A woman’s voice could be heard, it crackled like an old tape recorder as the girl placed her yellow coat on a line that hung across the stage which transformed into a kind of line and pulley mechanism. Using the mechanism the girl then lifted a dustsheet from the ground, unearthing what might seem to most like a selection of odds and ends scattering the floor. To the girl however, they were a host of trinkets and memories and all the while she told of such treasures that could be discovered in tidal ponds amidst the maritime landscape.

What can only be described as being both lyrically and visually stunning Trévien’s performance exuded a dream-like quality which made it that even more magical. The bursts of scents released throughout the performance perfumed the air and contributed to a theatrical experience that I for one felt privileged to have encountered. Devices such as these combined with the beauty of her lyrics are what bring Trevien’s poetry and The Shipwrecked House to life.


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