The Skeleton Maze

The Skeleton Maze

‘As culture manufactures glamour, ego death got such a glowing review. 

To depersonalise is swimming as a ghost in a sea with wet wreckage to cling to.’

Created and performed by acharacter, The Skeleton Maze is a transdisciplinary performance which attempts to fill in missing gaps in memory, building up from bone that has been stripped back and made a blank slate.

It is a voyage into an abyss – fathomless dark / void / a moment of absolute mystery – pregnant with potential. In cacophony and quiet, the emptiness is inhabited by a flurry of stories, spirits and energies, encountered as ghosts/angels/demons/aliens/objects and places. In telling various tales of the same moment of emptiness again and again, I hope that among the many the fictions there might lie some truth.

“The Skeleton Maze is both engrossing and accessible. Charlie’s obvious passion is enticing and the show succeeds in entertaining and provoking thought. Dance, music, story-telling and interaction with the audience weaves a satisfying whole that is an impressive as it is a joy to watch.”

Audience feedback

“A beautiful piece… with enchanting music and enthralling characters that captured and enticed the audience into its mysterious world.” 

” found the Skeleton Maze to be a beautiful, challenging and engrossing performance. The way multiple strands of performance and sound / music were drawn together deeply held my attention and prompted unexpected thoughts on my own mortality and life.”

The road thus far / it's not over yet

The Skeleton Maze began as a string of independent artistic investigations into an experience of ego-loss / emptiness / abyss and void. 

Namely in an illustration series exploring dream and visionary states, in a solo spoken word album, and a somatic dance practice which uses tarot to inform an improvisation (now a regular public class titled ‘Arcane Dance’, at Space Six in Newcastle). These artistic ventures were interwoven with and informed by research into various religious and spiritual explanations of / encounters with absolute emptiness, and different socio-cultural maps of underworld systems. 

This was the beginning of my attempt to contextualise an experience of depersonalisation, encountered numerously as a ripple of an incident in which I was spiked in a club, and lost time.

I presented an initial scratch of The Skeleton Maze as an amalgam of these various artistic projects at Alphabetti Theatre in October 2018. Having done this and figured out my own voice and performance approach for this vast topic, which felt calm, playful, sincere, humorous and humble, it felt like The Skeleton Maze wanted to grow legs. It was time to involve other people, build community and conversation, and for the work to grow outside of me and my experiences as an individual. 

I am now hugely excited for The Skeleton Maze to be a celebration of each person’s individual experience, and enable these to be shared and discussed, in supported conversations around identity politics, mental health, drugs laws/harm reduction, and magic/religion. I hope to challenge and affirm peoples’ realities by presenting them with a set of co-existing alternatives.

  • Jack Burton – Musician / Performer
  • Ian Garside – Movement Director
  • Adam Goodwin – Film Maker
  • Felix Kawitzky – Dramaturge
  • Michael Morgan – Lighting Designer / Stage Manager
  • Rosa Rogers Postlethwaite – Producer
  • Adam Stapleford – Musician / Performer
  • Hannah Thompson – Costume Designer

Here's a song for you

All image credits to Adam Goodwin