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Further Than The Furthest Thing


Dundee Rep
4 stars
There are explosions in Zinnie Harris's extraordinary play of communal 
displacement even before its strange, dreamily poetic exchanges between 
island folk forced from their isolated way of life take hold. In James 
Brining's lovingly nuanced revival, these come in the form of a 
stunning clash of sound and vision on stage filled with water that 
designer Neil Warmington, under the influence of visual artist and 
'water consultant' Elizabeth Ogilvie, has reflected via a live video 
feed onto a huge screen behind. As a man slips into the water under the 
beatific glow of Philip Gladwell's lighting design, John Harris' 
monumental choral score is a shattering cry from the deep.

If all this threatens to overwhelm the slow-burning quietude that 
follows, it also accentuates the physical and emotional dams waiting to 
burst open in an expansively symbolic production of a play loaded with 
significant portents of the tragedy that follows.

As Mill and Bill await the return of their prodigal nephew Francis from 
the big city, the eggs they drop are mirrored later by the still-born 
pregnancy of Francis' lost sweetheart, Rebecca, as an apparently 
dormant volcano erupts beneath them. With factory owner Hansen 
providing work and shelter, the sense of exile that follows leaves the 
islanders more isolated than ever before, each on their own urban 
island as long-hidden secrets gush forth.

Inspired by the real-life saga of Tristan da Cunha, the Atlantic island 
evacuated following a similar occurrence, a beautifully measured set of 
performances is led by Ann Louise Ross and as Mill as a heart-stopping 
portrait of a big society fractured by capitalism emerges from the deep.

The Herald, April 30th 2012

ends


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