Thursday, 2 May 2013

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

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