Skip to main content

Auditory Hallucinations


The Bongo Club, Edinburgh
4 stars
Do you remember the first time? The first time you played mass games of statues, perhaps, a first kiss, or the growing pains of impending adulthood that will leave all that innocent stuff behind for more serious life and death affairs? Young experimental theatre company Creative Electric do, and even though the three performers onstage in this devised interactive miniature look barely out of therir teens, their wisdom goes before them in spades.

After being given headphones at the door, an audience of fifteen is ushered into one of the Bongo's dark club spaces as a sonic collage of babbling voices invades our ears and minds. As they guide us round the space, performers Michael Collins, Laura Fisher and Robbie Gordon share a series of personal epiphanies inbetween explaining how the brain deals with memories. Sometimes these are accompanied by little dance moves. Other moments are soundtracked by melancholy electronic melodies as unknown voices share their own experiences through the headphones. There are moments too, when they remove your headphones, look you in the eye and tell you what it was like to see an ailing relative for the final time or how they prepared to leave home.

As each memory prompts you to reflect on your own experiences, all of this becomes a deeply affecting experience. The fact that Heather Marshall's intimate production lasts just thirty-five minutes makes it even more so. All three performers serve up an impressive mix of real life honesty and charm in a piece which could clearly be developed into something bigger, but which, right now, remains an emotionally stirring meditation that's not easy to forget.

The Herald, May 2nd 2013

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Nomanslanding

Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …