Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lust and Murder in Lilliput: The Return of Liza Campbell's Dark Boxes: review

Last night I wended my way through the slate-grey streets, past the megalithic tower blocks of Royal Oak, down a road that seemed never to end. I felt like a knight on a quest (specifically, like Childe Roland): and then I came to the Dark Tower; although it wasn't actually the Dark Tower - it was Westbourne Park Studios. Brooding under the arch of the Westway, it is a strangely tranquil place of glass and space - and the perfect setting for the return of Liza Campbell's Dark Boxes. No Lilliput Lane is this: Naughty Lego, as the poster said. Here you will see tiny people in the throes of existential crises; possessed twins, unreformed bestialists, suicidal actors and gun-toting tortoises. The landscape is the mind: anything can happen in the square, dark confines of the black box. Incredibly wry, funny, and often deeply cutting, they are both salve and stimulus for the troubled. The centrepiece was a large doll's house, which on the surface appeared normal. Peer into the windows, however, and you see a devil walking out of the bathroom; a man who's hanged himself, a woman who's put her head in the oven; an orgy going on blithely upstairs, and a party of sinister nuns approaching a cradle.

The real party, of course, went swimmingly, with the guests managing to suppress their neuroses even with the application of several glasses of wine. Chief amongst the admirers was the actor Bill Nighy, who loomed in his greatcoat; perhaps he found some inspiration for his next sardonic film role.

By the end of the party, I'd never seen so many red dots. May the dark boxes invade every house.

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