Sat 14 Feb 2009, ICIA Arts Theatre
I made you a submarine was a wonderful, surreal story that began with Billy the Kid’s dying friend Charley Bowdre and ended by the seaside with a lobster, a mermaid, a sailor, Napoleon Bonaparte and the mysterious arrival of a submarine. The performance took its starting point from the plot by Johnston, a smuggler, to rescue Napoleon from the prison island of St Helena by submarine. From here it unfolded as a poetic reflection on ambition and failure, action and immobility, life and death. It propelled the viewer from the vast dry landscapes of the American Wild West to the endless horizon of the sea, and the tightly enclosed space of the submarine with its mysterious potential for underwater travel.
This multi-layered piece, conceived and directed by Swen Steinhauser (formerly Deer Park), used movement, fragments of text, audio-visual images and atmospheres to construct a world in which ideas, landscapes, forces and sensations float and circulate.
Commissioned by ICIA and Nuffield Theatre