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John Moran experiments with thousands of bits of sound you hear every day

Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg is velvet red. Theatre Bellevue, the beating heart of the Amsterdam Fringe Festival, whorish pink. The Amsterdam Fringe, that means performances in more than 25 places. In theatres, but also on location. From 2 to 12 September 2010 Henk de Jong for The Dodo and performing arts trade journal TM in search of the pearl of the Fringe. Here he keeps a diary, and a longer article by him will appear in the next issue of TM.

On the first night, John Moran comes with what could be called a real theatrical examination.

Moran feels like a composer. He stores the sounds he hears every day. All these short pieces of sound are the basis for the performance John Moran and his neighbour Saori in Thailand. The rhythm in the performance eludes you, until Moran explains at the end what he is actually doing. The whole piece is made on 72 beats per minute. This also makes it very easy to mix up all the scenes without affecting the rhythm of the performance.

At first you think you've walked into a bad Telsell advert. The sound, including lyrics, has been previously recorded and the actors playback on it. Their mime-like acting commands admiration, because clever it certainly is. Every footstep matches what you hear. Even a car door slamming or a jump in the pool matches the actors' movements. This repetition of scenes makes you recognise these fragments later, when they are played through each other. In this way, John Moran plays with sound, but also with the audience.

His neighbour, the Asian Saori, provides counterpoint in the trouble Moran has fallen into. Saori's movements to the sounds are perfectly balanced. Even getting in and out of a car is elevated to an art in her dance. The play continues in Thailand, but the story is secondary.

Combining all the bits of sound you hear every day into a piece of theatre. That is the experiment John Moran shows here in combination with dance, mime and humour. A thousand different pieces of sound were needed for this hour-long performance. You don't normally think about that.

John Moran can still be seen until 5 September.

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