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Action Hero & Deborah Pearson

The Talent


A new show questioning human presence in the 21st Century. What kind of ghosts will haunt us when we’re gone?

Art form: Theatre
Age guidance:
60 minutes
Sensitive content:
Flashing lights, loud/repetitive/high pitched/unexpected or overlapping sound, total audience blackout
Space requirements:
Small to mid-scale black box studio theatre, 6 metres by 4 metres


Show Description

On stage is a small sound booth; inside sits a woman, alone. She is a voice-over artist. Off stage, in a space never seen but only heard, two disembodied voices ask her to conjure different voices for commercials, self-help audiobooks, meditation tapes, computer games, robo-calls… anything and everything. In amongst this post-pandemic vocal soup, is she the powerful protagonist in her own narrative? Or is she a cheap ventriloquist of capitalism’s audio debris, speaking into the void?

A new show by Action Hero & Deborah Pearson questioning human presence in the 21st Century. Where does the voice live? How will her voice live on, outside her body? What kind of ghosts will haunt us when we’re gone?

“’The Talent’ challenges us to reflect on the sounds and voices we are leaving behind” – Time Out Lisbon


Artist Information

Action Hero artists Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse create artworks that expand across multiple creative practices. Their long-form collaborative partnership has taken them to nearly 40 countries across the world and their ongoing interests lie in the iconography of popular culture and its use; both as a weapon and as a shared cultural memory.

Deborah Pearson is an artist and writer. Her work has been staged throughout Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Australasia, and Asia. She holds a practice-based PhD from Royal Holloway and is currently a Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts London.

Artist website: Action Hero


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A young, white woman with short, brown hair and wearing a beige vest top stands in a recording booth. She is also wearing headphones and speaking into a large microphone, eyes closed. Her arms are thrown in the air with finger-guns pointing to the sky. She visible from the waist up and illuminated in red and green lighting. The walls of the booth are covered with spiky foam soundproofing material. Outside of the booth is completely dark.
The Talent by Action Hero & Deborah Pearson. Image by Ana Viotti.

A trailer for The Talent by Action Hero & Deborah Pearson. Footage by João Solano, edit by Dan Canham.