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Edinburgh Fringe 2011

I Will Embrace You

Ian Smith

Genre: Physical Theatre




Low Down

A little late in the day, Smith is discovering a penchant for straightforward honesty, and is delighted to be finding it in poetry even more strongly than in brutal facts. He is trying to embrace it and in doing so would like to embrace you..warts and all.


Difficult, Easy, Beautiful, Haunting, Affecting, all this but I can’t tell you what it was about, i know what I think it was about and once you’ve seen it you will know what you think it is about but I can’t tell you now because that would spoil it, What it is, is a seven minute experience with a solo performer, it contains a hauntingly beautiful song in a strangely affecting environment with a soul man. A man who s shaving bare his soul. I can only urge you to experience it without judgement but to stand and let it enfold you. Ian Smith is a solid performer with years of interesting work behind and ahead of him, this is part of his journey.

The set is like a chapel, you walk into a chapel of feelings and images, you may not understand them but they are recognisable, a man is singing, he  reminds me of a samurai warrrior preparing himself for a ceremony. The whole thing is ceremonious, the music is enchantingly eerie, some of the movement curiously throw away but studied, I could have had more but it was also an intense experience with memories and feeling of my rushing in to compete with the images and sounds with which I was being presented. Solo performances of this kind can be very trying but this was a triumph, economic, briefly shattering with glimpses of past sadness and joy.

This work is part of a trilogy, I havent seen the other pieces but this work made me want to see them and certainly his company Mischief La-Bas, based in Glasgow have produced outstanding work over the years

As Ian Smith  says in his program he is trying out small things that belie big feelings, its good for his soul and its good for the spectators soul, you leave with a smile, everybody leaves with a smile. I don’t think its too late in the day for a smile, seven minutes worth spending in the company of a man who works on the edges of the fabric of society feels like seven minutes well spent.