Edinburgh Fringe 2013
‘…a vital piece that’s alternately comical and sinister but musically compelling throughout.’ **** (The Scotsman). ‘…thought-provoking, memorable and one-off stuff.’ **** (Herald). A stunning collaboration between musician Louise Quinn, Grid Iron Theatre’s Ben Harrison and film maker Uisdean Murray in response to Pippa Bailey’s shared story. Join musician Thyme on her journey through the fame factory as she pursues success in the music industry. The first ever use of silent disco technology in a gig format with story told through feature-film-quality visuals and a giant rabbit for a truly immersive audience experience.
The audience enters the space, headphones clamped over their ears. The blue lights on each set bob and weave through the space – each wearer exploring the L-shaped catwalk stage bookended with frantic slideshow projections. The music being pumped through the silent disco technology swells as a giant rabbit enters, carrying the singer of the band in a body bag.
And so begins Biding Time (remix) – a surreal live-art gig at Summerhall.
There is a sense of narrative – a band forming, signing to a manager and slipping out of favour. The lead singer seems to be haunted by her doubts and a pull towards nature and settling down.
The main content is songs from A Band Called Quinn punctuated by costume changed and visual treats. The singer’s doubts are broadcast in film snippets on the multimedia screens, often with a surreal and humorous element.
The giant rabbit is in turns menacing and comforting – and always an imposing presence. A group of girls in the audience began to laugh hysterically when they saw a small pink foot poking out from the rabbit’s groin, which he then proceeded to give birth to.
The use of silent disco technology was interesting, revealing the layers and constructs of the sound the audience experienced intravenously, plugging the ears into a giant mixing board. Removing the headphones had the effect of stripping away the ‘art’ – almost exposing the musicans as frauds as they tapped away at the electrical instruments. This choice was exciting – choosing between an experience that was full or barren.
Towards the end it felt as if these threads were not quite enough even though they were technically impressive. Or maybe the atmosphere didn’t come together as planned. There wasn’t a clear motive for having the audience standing – there was nothing to discover by moving and the music was too dirgey to encourage dancing.
A bold presentation of ideas and a unique audience experience.