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Live Guy, Dead Guy is a 30 minute music theatre piece for 4 performers. It was originally developed as part of AUT's 'Operatic Mass Actions' project in Aarhus, Denmark, before receiving it's full premiere in June 2018 at London's Cafe Oto as part of the Kammer Klang concert series.

Live Guy, Dead Guy is a piece in two acts for 4 performers.

The two acts are in some ways connected, but in most ways not. Each are alternative ways of looking at a similar set of problems.


The work is concerned with issues of digital identity, how we connect with each other in a digitally mediated and visually orientated world, and the neo-liberal aspirational shift away from physical labour to disembodied digital labour.


Each act of the piece takes filmic tropes as the basis of the performance aesthetic.

Son/Corpse: Adam de la Cour

Mother/Violin: Chihiro Ono

Father/Viola: Benedict Taylor

Medium: Neil Luck

Video: Anders Bigum with Neil Luck

Live Guy, Dead Guy was also discussed in an article on Neil's work in The WIRE magazine, August 2018


A prodigal son returns home to his antiquated parents. He's come to introduce his fiancé - a digital avatar he's created himself.

The performers act as badly manipulated puppets. Performing along to a prerecorded video and audio track the performers gesticulate wildly, knocking the paraphernalia of a tea party to the ground. As the act plays out we learn that to join his avatar in matrimony, the son plans to leave his physical body through the act of suicide. Not wanting to leave his parents behind, he forces them to join him in this deadly and tragic pact.

A study in the pathos of the human body, the clumsiness of digital communication, and the rhetoric of light entertainment.

Photographer: Dimitri Djuric

Photographer: Neil Luck


A conversation between a medium and the ghost of a deceased marketing executive. An inert corpse on a table and two offstage musicians provide the voice of a disembodied spirit, eschewing the benefits of life after death as an executive utopia.

As the terrified medium presses this spirit, we get a sense of anxiety, or nostalgia for a corporeal past.

At the climax of the work, this nostalgia is realised in the reanimation of the corpse, trapped in the body of the son from act 1. The performance shears in two - the conversation with the spirit continues, whilst the reanimated corpse destroys the stage, plunges into the audience, before finally escaping the venue to roam the streets.

A study in the pathos of the human body, the clumsiness of digital mediated communication, and the rhetoric of horror movies.

Photographer: Dimitri Djuric

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