Enormous Yes explore home truths about the home front in The Forbidden Experiment
- Gareth K Vile
- 22 April 2014
Rob Jones and Michael John O’Neill explore language deprivation experiments in WWII
both Rob Jones and Michael John O’Neill – collectively known as Enormous Yes – have plenty of theatrical form. O’Neill was one of the Traverse Fifty writers, and Jones was a key member of underground performance troupe Flatrate, before going on to work with the National Theatre of Scotland and Òran Mór’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint series. Previous outings from the duo have examined dishonesty and complicity in grassroots politics, and messed around with the traditional format of theatre, staging one show in a boardroom.
The Forbidden Experiment began as a study of James IV’s 1493 attempt to discover humanity’s original language, through the unethical abandoning of two babies on the island of Inchkeith to grow up without hearing a human voice. Investigating the island, via a freedom of information request, Enormous Yes discovered that the Ministry of Defence also had an interest in the effects of language deprivation.
The pair’s interest in using theatre as a place for exploring ideas led Jones and O’Neill to decide to use their Platform 18 award – given by the Arches to outstanding emerging creators – to reveal some home truths about the home front during WWII. Although the company are unwilling to reveal more before the production, they promise a shocking story of counter-intelligence and confusion.
The Arches, Glasgow, Tue 22–Fri 25 Apr; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 1–Sat 3 May.