Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Superbard was born in Chigwell in the year 3013. Through the mysteries of quantum mechanics, parallel universes, space-time continuums, and a bit of help from George Lewkowicz, Superbard appears at Edinburgh 2011 to weave a set of related stories which, unusually for the Fringe, use new technologies to develop a new, exciting medium for storytelling.
George Lewkowicz is a writer and performer who is beginning to develop a substantial reputation for the quality of his storytelling, and the ways he harnesses new media to develop and tell them.
It’s a new different and really welcome development of the storytelling genre, far beyond the “finger in the ear” traditional folk storytelling which has reappeared on the Fringe in the last few years. This is new media storytelling, both in creation, in telling, but also as importantly in the structuring of the central ideas.
And it all makes for a very impressive debut on this year’s fringe. Drawing on some of the most theoretical of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics, Lewkowicz creates a series of interwoven stories. The better of these are very good indeed, combining strong storylines with intelligent, clever uses of new media to create something entertaining and insightful. The weaker stories, (story 3 in particular where he nearly lost his audience and which hopefully will soon be dropped), are those which focus on young men whose notion of sex is entirely in their heads and handmade.
A clever entrance develops into a discussion of parallel universes, and earthlings walking out tentacle in hand John Cooper Clarke style with a monster from outer space. It’s a great start, and the first two stories build on the solid beginning.
What I liked so much about this show is that Lewkowicz is taking storytelling into a very different and much more interesting arena than the more quaint and backward-looking styles of work of Rachel Rose Reid, for example. Its storytelling harnessing the internet. Its innovative in its delivery, robust in its structures and uses of new media, creative in that it is genuinely new and has so much potential; it is very exciting.
Combine that with Lewkowicz’s presence on stage and you have something and someone very special. He is a developing into a fine performer, who grabs his audience, and takes them with him on this journey, theoretical physics and all. Its genuinely funny, intelligent, clever and inspiring to watch and listen to.
The result is surreal, wonderful imagery reminiscent of very early Hitchhiker Guides on the radio. Lewkowicz could become a very big talent indeed. Go and see this show, and you will see why.