The Waft That Woos

17 September 2012

Acclaimed artists Bompas & Parr, create a spectacular mirrored maze, navigable by nose, at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon from October 2012...

Bompas & Parr:
The Waft That Woos
PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre
6 October 2012 – 7 April 2013
Admission Free

The infinity mirror maze, entitled The Waft That Woos, opens on Saturday 6 October 2012 and runs until Sunday 7 April 2013.

Artists, 'architectural foodsmiths' and 'jellymongers' Sam Bompas & Harry Parr have designed a playful and fun labyrinth which promises an emotionally compelling experience for all.

Central to this installation, Bompas and Parr have developed an aromatic 'love potion'. The powerful scent will be disbursed throughout the maze and it is this 'waft' that 'woos' visitors to its core where a sensual wedding grotto awaits.

The 'love potion' for The Waft That Woos has been formulated using a concoction of natural perfumes blended with alleged aphrodisiacs phenethyleamine and yohimbine. By disbursing the essence throughout the maze they have created the world's first aroma labyrinth where visitors follow their hearts and their noses to navigate the maze.

Inspired by The Merry Wives of Windsor, a new production of which plays at the RST this winter, The Waft That Woos is intended to reflect the themes of love and confusion in Shakespeare's light-hearted romantic comedy.

Sam Bompas says of the project:

'A maze is designed to enchant, beguile and confuse - much like Shakespeare's Merry Wives - so it acts as a physical metaphor for the play.

'The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comic misadventure, a romantic pursuit where tricks are played and visual misunderstandings occur and those are the kind of things that we've tried to recreate with our infinity mirror maze.

'We've designed the maze with pleasure in mind but we do hope that The Waft That Woos will give people a tangible Shakespearian experience which will enhance their enjoyment of the play.'

'The atmospheric aphrodisiac adds another dimension to the maze,' continued Sam.

'The fragrance gets stronger the further you delve into the maze so visitors can use their sense of smell to guide them to the source of the scent.

'We've concocted a love potion which is potent but perfectly safe, so we hope The Waft That Woos appeals to romantic lovers and Shakespeare lovers alike.'

Bompas & Parr have integrated scientific experiments into previous artistic endeavours. For their Alcoholic Architecture in 2009 they created a walk-in breathable mist of vaporised gin and tonic which intoxicated through lungs and eyeballs.

The following year they built an Artisanal Chewing Gum Factory where guests could choose and combine a myriad of familiar and unusual flavours including a Willy Wonka style gum that actually changed flavour during chewing.

Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr on the roof of Selfridges was a sell out success this summer and the artists also created a Mercedes Drive Thru at the iconic Oxford Street store from 14 to 16 September 2012 to celebrate London Fashion Week.

Further information
For further press information please contact Mark Farnan (T: 01789 272438; E:

Notes to Editors:

Listings details for The Waft That Woos:
6 October 2012 – 7 April 2013
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6BB
Tel: 0844 800 1110
Exhibitions open daily from 10am–10pm, and from 10am-5pm on Sundays

• Twitter hashtag: #RSCWaft

About Bompas & Parr
Named by The Independent as one of 'The 15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain', Bompas & Parr design spectacular experiences often working on an architectural scale with cutting edge technology.

From 2007, when Bompas & Parr was founded, the studio has slowly grown to its current structure in response to the possibility of generating a wide range of projects. The studio now consists of a team of about 10 people, from cooks and specialised technicians, to architects, graphic designers, and administrators.

They work with Sam and Harry to experiment, develop, produce, and install projects, artworks, jellies and exhibitions, as well as archiving, communicating, and contextualising the work. Additional to the projects realised in-house, Bompas & Parr contract structural engineers and other specialists, and collaborate with curators, cultural practitioners, and scientists.

Clients and exhibitions include: Barbican Art Gallery, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Courvoisier, CZWG, Disney, Fiona Leahy Design, Future Cinema, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Hendrick's Gin, Institute of Contemporary Art, Institute of Food Research, Kraft Foods, London Design Festival, London Festival of Architecture, Museum of London, Nokia, Performa Arts, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Salon del Mobile, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Selfridges, School of Life, Serpentine Gallery, UCL, Victoria & Albert Museum and Vital Arts, Wellcome Collection.

About RSC Exhibitions
The programme aims to create imaginative opportunities and fresh perspectives that explore and explode the work of the RSC. The new strand of work engages audiences outside of their experience of watching a production on stage, opening up the creative process and encouraging new ways to participate. RSC exhibitions take place in two dedicated spaces in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Room and the PACCAR Room, and appear as interventions around the building.

Issue date: 17 September 2012


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