Three young men walk onto the stage. Supported by subtly comic slides they begin to tell the audience about a literary movement named 'Oulipo'. They proceed to tell a story which, with humour and aplomb, explains some of Oulipo's history and facets, as well some of the rational and motivations driving the movement.
Oulipo involves the setting of some restrictive rules, like only using one vowel, or never using the letter P, or replacing each third word with the word behind it in the dictionary, and writing poetry or prose under these constraints. The notion is that rather than being restrictive, these harsh rules force the poet to push the words he does have available to him to the limit. Sounds rubbish? Yeah, I thought so too. Believe me my friends, this manifestation of Oulipo at least is anything but.
Our plucky poets, Joe Dunthorne, Tim Clare and Ross Sutherland, throw down the gauntlet to a stalwart of Oulipo rules, Univocalism; where a piece is written using only one vowel. The vowel 'I' for example.
Think about it. Try to write a coherent poem, with rhythm and narrative, using no other vowels then 'I'. The prospect is utter madness. But not only do Iaisle16 do it, they also deliver it with energy, passion and impeccable comic timing. And they do so for every vowel. Even 'U'! I can't quite express how impressed I am.
Though only an hour long, Found In Translation is nevertheless fully formed. I would tell you more, but any further explanation will simply detract from your expectation of what it is like. So I won't say anything else. Just go and see it if at all you can. The next show that isn't too far away is in London, at 'Vibe Live', on Monday the 16th of February. Tickets are only £7/5. I am right now texting all my London friends about it. It really is that good. Go see it.