Daphne Oram's Wonderful World of Sound 'crackles with electricity'
- Lorna Irvine
- 11 May 2017
Totally wired drama about the sound pioneer
Blood of the Young's Paul Brotherston and co-writer Isobel McArthur have teamed up with the Tron for a homage that may be a little conventional, but still crackles with electricity and intelligence. McArthur vividly portrays Daphne Oram as a slightly dotty aunt with an unquiet mind, bubbling with innovation. When she took her proposal for new sound effects to a BBC still populated by stuffy old men, doors were slammed in her face. Now, she is rightly recognised as the maverick who brought radical analogue tape splicing techniques to the sound effects department, co-runnning the famous Radiophonic Workshop alongside colleague Desmond Briscoe, who seemed at the time to take most of the credit, alongside the likes of Ron Grainger.
With a superb supporting cast, including a brilliant David James Kirkwood as the officious director general, and featuring composer Anneke Kampman's 'remixes' of Oram's speech and specially composed incidental music, it's a fitting tribute to a forward-thinking woman, who brought sonic experimentation to an old institution without chasing fame, in a time when ladies were secretaries and made tea. Oram actively encouraged people to listen 'between the notes' to hear where music lives. It's compelling, good-humoured and life-affirming theatre.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 13 May, touring until June