Upon entering a dark gloomy studio we are asked to put on headsets. The set is sparse, comprising of a table, chair and radio – oh, and splayed doll lies on the floor.Shine at Zoo Southside The sounds we hear are quietly intense and focus our concentration as we hear a distant child’s voice calling while the parent grab a moment of intimacy. The child is ignored for a moment of joy that will leave a life of pain for this young couple who were congressing as a storm howls outside. Soon the emotional storm takes over as they realise the child is lost, wandered off, perhaps, or worse?
The soundscape highlights every day actions by giving them an additional intensity. There is the chopping when preparing a meal or scraping, perhaps a distant refrain, the click of a typewriter, interrupted by the screaming radio frequency giving us all a visceral experience. Pain and torment were conveyed through the sounds, with crashing rain or banging windows, ringing phones and even the body-less answer phone messages offering words of support.
The young couple physicalise their pain and torment as they are hounded by their flawed moment of distraction which literally goes on to haunt them. They throw themselves at each other they hug and struggle, resist and force themselves upon each other to feel the pain and to fight the guilt. He writes, she works, now there is no play now it is only torment but he does not give up the search for the lost daughter.
SHINE is gripping experience as we are saturated in a journey of obsession and guilt and importantly by love and responsibility. Who will wait for us when everyone else has packed up and gone home and just because the body has gone it seems the spirit is present. This psychological aspect of the performance is engrossing and though we are part of a collective audience yet we feel like it is only us and them due to the audio landscape we hear so intensely through the headset.
The intense physical performances from both Oliver Leclair and Tia-Mari Makinen are impressive and they are superbly sustained which allows us to follow them on this dark emotional journey. Their work is exciting and original and it makes the Edinburgh Fringe worth coming to. On a technical level further plaudits must go to the sound designer, Dave Carey with his evocative sound track that seems to enter our subconscious. It takes root and makes us imagine that which is not necessarily there. Likewise, the creative talents of Rachel Yates with her demanding moves, gestures and haunting outlines (that helps shape this dark and compelling piece) must be celebrated.
This is an impressive creative team and their work shines – even in the darker moments.
19:45 . Aug 24-26