Edinburgh Fringe 2015
A physical theatre piece, inspired by autistic children, that sets out to challenge perceptions of reality using light and sound.
Comuna De Pedra present a physical theatre piece that explores the meaning of reality and illusion. Inspired by children with autism, Perceptual Landscapes uses light and sound to great effect creating a rich sensory experience and pushing the boundaries on how light and sound can be used within a performance.
Perceptual Landscape is instantly engaging with it’s alternative beginning of the performer amongst the seats and the audience filing in to stand on the stage to watch her. This sets up the performance brilliantly and already pushes at the opinion of what theatre is.
Those with experience and knowledge of autism may view the piece differently to those who do not, or at least see things that relate to their own experiences, however the piece is designed to provide something for all audiences. Viewing it from the perspective of someone who has the experience and knowledge of autism, the mannerisms, movements, and repetitions were familiar to me however the performance integrates so well with the other components that it is an interesting performance to view either way.
Gabriel Fung on visual design and Eric Chan on sound design do a fantastic job on this performance. Lighting and sound are used in a deeper than usual manner and at times are quite an assault on the senses, especially in terms of the strobe lighting which is used to create one particularly stunning sequence. The solo performer dances alongside light, and sound almost creating a trio which is a different experience to seeing a performer dance to sound, with light adding to a performance, there is much more meaning and emotion to it.
There is a richness to the performance that can really be felt, and it almost removes you from yourself as you are drawn into the surrealness of it all. Attention is captured and retained throughout with each sequence being captivating in very different ways.
Perceptual Landscape is an intelligent, and interesting piece that is important in terms of how it is attempting to push the norms of theatre and in it’s content. Comuna De Pedra have great potential and are a company who could go far with Jenny Mok Sin Teng at the helm if they continue with their current level of dedication.