Blind Ditch



A collaborative and distributed performance of the 1964 audio-theatre script by Ronald Duncan.

A Crowd Sourced and Audio work project.

Exeter and online
Find more videos, sounds and writing from O-B-A-F-G

You start to think about origins… and how the text transfers from words to the equations… it’s transformative in a moment… that sense of oxygen and life…

Audience member

The original 1964 version of O-B-A-F-G by Ronald Duncan took the form of a live ‘stereophonic’ performance with theatrical lighting. Beginning in darkness, the audience became surrounded by the disembodied voices of the actors heard through the audio system, in dialogue about the ‘birth’ of matter, tensions between scientific and spiritual beliefs, and our relationship with the earth.

It seemed like an accumulation of our entire history … from the birth of the universe to the creation of…plastic…!

Audience member


Just as Ronald Duncan experimented with new audio technologies in his original performances, this re-imagining of the play text used current digital technologies to expand the spaces in which the piece was performed and encountered. Sections of text were offered to different performers to record remotely in a place of their choice. Their voices were reassembled and live mixed for a small studio performance event, accompanied by a ‘found footage’ video montage projected on an assemblage of household objects. The piece was simultaneously broadcast live on Phonic.FM with a set of instructions on how to curate your listening environment, and an accompanying video stream for listeners to watch.

Epic… textural… fun!

Audience member

Listen to the radio documentary on Ronald Duncan and the working process, followed by the O-B-A-F-G audio work here:

Performed at Exeter Phoenix with simultaneous broadcast on phonic FM as part of NOSE 2015 7pm 15 May 2015. The work was also broadcast on Radiophrenia Glasgow 1 September 2016.

Co-produced by Blind Ditch with the Culture & Review on Phonic FM team. Creative direction by Paula Crutchlow, video by Stuart Crewes & Volkhardt Müller, radio documentary by Audaye Elesedy, sound edit by John Wigzell with Paula Crutchlow, stage manager Carla Hayes.

Performers invited to participate from alumni and former staff of Dartingon College of Arts and University of Exeter where the piece was first performed. Many thanks to: Uta Baldauf, Belinda Dillon, Dugald Ferguson, Robert Gerzany, Eunjoo Han, Alice Human, Fin Irwin, Jason Kennedy, Felix Bear Lane, Johann Müller, Lena Müller, Volkhardt Müller, Helen Pritchard, Cat Radford, Phil Smith, Jem Treays, Ella Turk-Richards.
Find the Duncan archive at the University of Exeter, part of their Special Collections of South West based writers.