The Hidden Door Festival is an earthy, urban mix of talent tucked away in a side yard off King’s Stables Road. This year (and it threatens to be the final one – the site is earmarked for regeneration – or is that blandification?) it is entitled Electric City to pay homage to the old council lighting depot housed within the buildings, the space previously doing time as slaughterhouse and police yard. Storyteller and artist Annie Lord, however, seeks deeper affinity with the location and delves into the history of its connection to by-products of the beef butchery industry, with her site-specific performance, Bones.
This is no turgid history lesson, and indeed, it is more spoken word than theatre (as per website); Bones is a poetic exposure of the bovine trade with unflinching focus on the meaning of objects created and left behind. Lord weaves an irresistible, insightful tale bound with corset-like strength and delivered with deceptive fragility much like her examples; the audience is mesmerised by the melancholy nature of the story. Lord has that keenly observant artist’s eye which exposes the fascinating and magical aspects usually lost deep within the ordinary, familiar and mundane.