The audience enter a dimly lit Victorian study. Set on a large desk amongst other Egyptian paraphernalia and collector’s items lies The Book. A strange halo surrounds it and a hardly noticeable whisper beckons the audience to open it.
Once opened something very ethereal seeps out of the book, like a beautiful hypnotic gas enveloping and ensnaring the audience. The visions begin really beautifully. Like a Siren’s call the released phenomenon is alluring.
The room comes to life. It breathes. It scintillates and chimes. Like supernatural honey traps portraits of beautiful woman on the wall begin to sing. Busts, paintings and other anthropomorphised architectural features start to talk in poetic but daunting riddles. Inspired by popular horror films (”all work and no play makes jack a dull boy", "red rum”) the experience is psychological and not gratuitous.
The room becomes a medium for the phenomenon to temporarily manifest. Memories of the space reincarnate. Objects replay scenes that happened in Temple Works. One minute the audience meet one of the most liberal factory owners of the industrial revolution and the next they see his child employees collapsing after a 72h working week. One minute the audience is in an ancient Egyptian temple, the next moment the cursed walls collapse to reveal the Temple Works pastiche. One minute the cyclorama in the windows moves the room out of Leeds and into space, the next the room’s floor cracks open to reveal humanity’s abyss…
The phenomenon’s effects confuse the real and surreal in people's minds. Like a toxin, a drug or a virus, the curse is not conscious, has no incentive, no objective and no intentions but if it leaves the room it could do to the world what it does to the room. However, sometimes the visuals and visions draw in around windows and doors and their handles shake as if something was trying to get in. Or maybe something is trying to get out?!
After flicking through 7 pages of the book, each revealing a new chapter and a new set of beautifully unsettling visions, the audience closes the book. The phenomenon withdraws and creeps back into the pages and the room goes quiet. Back to the beginning like nothing happened.
The audience feels uncertain but the experience has ended and they head for the room’s exit. When they open the door, a loud garish spectacle happens behind them and the curse escapes the room through the door they just unwittingly opened.
On the audience’s way out something is different. Voices strangely echoing the experience inside seem now to manifest outside. Has the phenomenon escaped Temple Works?