Public Realm: Romeo Echo Delta / Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (2011)
ROMEO ECHO DELTA was a new sound project by artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard. Commissioned and produced especially for AND, it was inspired by a long line of hoax alien invasions and fake UFO scares, most famously, Orson Welles’ radio play of H.G Well’s science fiction novel War of the Worlds broadcast for Halloween in 1938.
The BBC Radio Merseyside broadcasted the event on 31 October 2011 and was accompanied by an ominous red light in the night sky above Birkenhead. Dense with speculation, confusion and repetition, the transmission began with the arrival of a studio guest, former X Factor finalist Maria Lawson. Her interview was interrupted with the breaking news of the unexplained RED light.
The artists worked with acclaimed author and actor Ben Moor to write the script for this 30-minute radio drama. Their cast includes Saira Choudhry (Hollyoaks), local comedian and actress Pauline Daniels and celebrity paranormal investigator Dr. Ciaran O’Keeffe.
Plugging into an age-old fascination with the red planet and the possibility of earth invasion from another world, Forsyth & Pollard aimed to unpick the nature of contemporary reporting, where breaking news stories are frequently caught in a suspended limbo before any real facts emerge.
ROMEO ECHO DELTA also toured to Kate MacGarry Gallery, London from 10 November – 17 December 2011.