Edinburgh Fringe 2016
“Sporting a screen and a projector around his face, Mamoru Iriguchi turns himself into a mobile cinema and explores what is live and what is pre-recorded, fixed eternally on film; what liveness means when technology blurs actual and virtual realities.”
While 4D cinema was not quite what my twelve year-old digital native companion hoped to see, we were nonetheless eventually, moderately, charmed by this intricately planned and executed performance by Mamoru.
We were mainly intrigued by the unravelling progression of the biography and then later autobiography of Marlene Dietrich and these insights were fascinating and revealing. Mamoru had a charm and earnestness on stage that endeared him to the audience, although at times the script felt a little tedious in its delivery and length and also felt energetically phlegmatic. Technological manoeuvres slightly lifted this slow performance and Mamoru raised important and thought-provoking reflections on live and pre recorded performance, letting us become part of that mirroring process, encouraging through an unexpected twist to look back on the narrative through recorded eyes, with a play on time itself.
With further work on the script and delivery of the narrative this could become an interesting philosophical reflection on technology. The narrative either needs to be more intentionally abstract and surreal or the work of a dramaturg could help improve its clarity and accessibility.
There was clearly a mixed response from the audience. We wanted to understand and connect with it more. Productions of art can deliberately set out to gain mixed reactions from bamboozled to delighted. More conscious design is needed here. That said, we left the venue still pondering this piece and that has to be good.