Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dark Matter

Ferry Road, Edinburgh
4 stars
In a secret urban garden in the north of the city by night, the earth is 
about to erupt into explosive life. The audience for this latest site 
sensitive work by the Vision Mechanics company have already been 
promenaded down the quiet street beyond from a local hotel, and are sat 
around the moodily-lit shrubbery while what sounds like the low rumble 
of cracking earth churns from the headphones each is given as they pass 
through the gate.

In the crepescular glow, a folk lament is sung as smoke billows, until 
the singing morphs into an unseen woman's voice calling to her lost 
love. When the young woman finally enters, great-coated and alive with 
possibility, it's as if she's risen from the ground itself, so at one 
with the birds and bees twittering and buzzing in our ears does she 
seem. For her, sex and love are something primal, obsessive and 
unfettered, and only when her passions are thwarted and the life that 
drives her is ripped out of her do things spill over into anger.

There's something mythic-sounding about Chris Lee's richly poetic text, 
performed with an intense sense of abandon by Emma Anderson in Symon 
Macintyre's production. The outdoor setting, given light and shade by 
designer Charlie Macintyre, and Tam Treanor's seismic soundscape, 
breathes life into the piece's dark eroticism. It's Anderson, however, 
who gives the forty-minute monologue it's heart. As her character 
lashes out, the full self-destructive fury of a woman scorned is laid 
bare as she becomes a force of nature destined to haunt her garden of 
earthly delights forever.
The Herald, March 5th 2013


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