Monday, 22 July 2013

The Swedge

At some point, I was trying to do a top twenty of female performances at the Fringe. Lack of clear definition - did I mean solo shows, or stuff that was about women, or did there have to be a majority of female cast members, or was being written by a woman enough - made the whole thing impossible. I learnt two important things: there are plenty of women at the Fringe (which might allow some kind of statistical analysis to challenge the idea that women are excluded from the arts), and that gender does not necessarily imply commonality.

The list was full of acts who had nothing in common, except the biological determinism of gender. I even discovered plenty of female stand up comedians - not enough that I now believe it is any less of a drunken boys' club - and noticed that cabaret attracts more women than men.

Here's number thirteen (or wherever I got up to...):

The Wedge: a gripping urban thriller delivered starkly, simply and close-up.

The New Statesman says that this one is 'arrestingly ambiguous' (nice alliteration, but not necessarily helping me to understand what it will be like. Naomi Said wrote it, and is performing it. It is at Zoo Southside, which is a solid recommendation. I have seen some good work at Zoo over the years, usually just outside of the mainstream theatre styles but not right off the edge...

The company, Theatre Absolute, have won two Fringe Firsts. Here's the press release. 

With stark simplicity, the audience is held in an engrossing atmosphere, which ignites the senses. Illusions of other people in the space, shifting locations and fractured time are created through vibrant imagery and a boldly imaginative performance, conjuring filmic visuals in the audience's imagination.

Returning to the fields where she found abandon and adventure as a kid, Jess makes a discovery that changes everything. Directed by Chris O'Connell, The Wedge is a haunting new piece of storytelling about finding out, hiding away and seeking a place to go.

Themes of displacement, secrecy and trust are explored through rhythmic and elliptical text, with the audience drawn deeply into Jess' confession through the honesty and immediacy of the spoken word. A building sense of community, intimacy and privacy empowers a distinctly personal response from each audience member. 

ZOO Southside (Studio) Venue 82 117 Nicholson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9ER

Fri 2 – Mon 26 Aug at 3.30pm

£8.00 (£7.00 concs)

50 minutes

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