Classical myths echo in Dickie Beau’s LOST IN TRANS

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 December 2015

Dickie Beau channels multiple personas in his LOST IN TRANS

Dickie Beau channels multiple personas in his LOST IN TRANS


Disembodied voices emanating loneliness on a bleak theatre set might not be your idea of getting into the festive spirit.

The performance piece will be staged at Toynbee Studios for two nights only next Thursday and Friday, December 10-11The performance piece will be staged at Toynbee Studios for two nights only next Thursday and Friday, December 10-11

But for those seeking solace from the whirl of Christmas shopping and overpriced mulled wine, Dickie Beau’s bold, uncompromising show might be just the ticket.

With his whirlwind piece Lost in Trans at Toynbee Studios, Whitechapel, next week, the Bethnal Green artist is drawing not only on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but also the tradition of drag and the idea of how a voice can transcend life itself.

“It’s a mixture of influences, we think of it being a poem in motion rather than a play. There’s lots of video and sound collage,” says Dickie, who was commissioned by the Southbank Centre to develop the piece together with Julia Bardsley.

The 37-year-old has taken a classical myth and made it his own, focusing particularly on Echo, the nymph who died of a broken heart, leaving just the sound of her voice behind.

“It’s sort of an audio-video immersion, it’s a little bit futuristic and almost science fiction in its aesthetic. It’s quite dream-like,” he said.

As Dickie was developing the idea, a friend sent him a three-inch reel to reel tape that was found on a commuter train in the 1960s, containing an unknown’s man story.

Dickie blends the voice from this old tape with another person’s.

“I made them relate to each other, and that worked really nicely with the show.”

He developed the piece at Cullberg Ballet, and has so far presented the show at venues including the Southbank Centre, Contact in Manchester, Homotopia Festiva and at the City of Women Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Dickie may be performing to crowds all over Europe, but does performing in a solo show ever get lonely?

“I love it but it is lonely,” he admits. But in some respects this is perfectly in keeping with what the piece is about.

“The show is particularly about loneliness – all of the voices are in some way outsiders.

“I think most people identify with that feeling, that unidentifiable head space.”

Echo and Narcissus are not the only classical figures to drift through the space and into the audience’s consciousness.

Expect to meet Tyresias, the seer who for two years lived as a woman, and Cyclops, the one-eyed giant, through whom we are told the world anew.

Lost in Trans runs from Thursday, December 10 at 7.30pm at Toynbee Studios, Commercial Street. Tickets £12/£10 concessions from

Related articles

Latest East London News Stories

58 minutes ago

Traders are planning a second mass protest to stop a major redevelopment of Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market when it goes before Tower Hamlets Council on Tuesday.

A new project will provide support and help to addicts and homeless people who repeatedly beg outside DLR stations to tackle anti-social behaviour in Tower Hamlets.

A new mixed-used development with 30 per cent affordable housing and a green heating system is coming to Bow.


Disney musicals are coming to a school near you when pupils at Poplar’s Manorfield Primary and their teachers produce their own West End show based on classic children’s stories.

Yesterday, 19:00

Tower Hamlets Council has been urged to replace an iconic piece of public art removed from Bethnal Green 16 years ago.

Yesterday, 18:08

Worshippers at mosques and Muslim centres are being warned by Tower Hamlets trading standards officers about travel scams if they are planning to go on Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca next month.

Yesterday, 16:29

A high-end massage parlour on the Isle of Dogs has lost its licence after staff were caught offering “sexual services” to customers.

Yesterday, 12:59

Proposals for a new block of flats in a conservation area in Limehouse is being recommended for approval despite 74 objections from residents.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now