|A guy slips a high heel on one foot.
A sand shoe on the other. And runs on the spot.
At first glance it looks as if he is riding the slippery slope to madness, but in fact it is a trick to create the sound of two people running.
A trick that the performers of LIVE Tranzmissions will be using in their live radio drama at Bats theatre this week.
The three performers, Taika Cohen, Bret Mckenzie and Adam Gardiner have been working on the radio show for the past few months creating and developing different noises by seeking advice from sound artists.
It is a chance to re-ignite the medium, says Gardiner.
“It is what they used to do in the 50’s, we are doing a similar kind of thing,” says McKenzie.
In the same vein as Arrghh! which gave an insight into special effects used in cinema, the audience can access the show on many levels.
You can watch them fry a steak and simulate the sound of rain. Or fling wet towels around to create the sound of a flock of birds flying.
Or just close your eyes and listen. Blindfolds will be provided.
It is mayhem on stage as the three performers swap from coconut shells to doorbells, light switches to drums. "The experience is like watching an orchestra, when the whole orchestra is three guys." There are no multi track computers or whizz bang technology. The only piece of equipment is a small 80s synthesizer with a bit of Duran Duran living inside it. "It is a psuedo Duran Duran synth to create the sci fi soundscape," says McKenzie. "We think it is Simon Le Bon's old synth. He did a gig in New Zealand then he lost his synth. He traded it in for a sheepskin."
Not only have they been experimenting with objects, but also their vocal chords. Cohen found an old man living in his throat. Gardiner found a laser gun. McKenzie found a handful of farm animals. The plot includes a cast of characters fit for a wacko American drama. There is a conflicted scientist, a post apocalyptic fighter, Russian soldiers and "pretty much the entire population of Lyttleton."
A serialised five minute piece will be broadcast on Radio Active every night. The five minutes changes each night, but the other 50 minutes remain the same. Audience participation is encouraged. LIVE Tranzmissions, Bats Theatre, October 31 - November 9.