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Edinburgh Fringe 2016

One Hundred Homes

Yinka Kuitenbrouwer, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Genre: New Writing, Site-specific

Venue: Summerhall

Festival:


Low Down

One Hundred Homes is a quietly impactful journey told through very short stories of many lives, developed through visiting over one hundred people in their homes.

Review

Yinka Kuitenbrouwer is fascinated by people. In fact she visited over one hundred people in their homes to develop this theatre piece!

Welcoming the audience to her rustic yet stylish wooden cabin tucked away in the back of the Summerhall courtyard, Yinka calmly sits at a small wooden table covered with a metal box, a small tin of biscuits – and an egg timer. In the box are over one hundred neatly filed sets of note cards and photographs. Looking directly at the audience, Yinka is a storyteller, documenting and sharing information and brief details of the lives of about twenty-five people she knows or met on her travels. Most of these people seem to live in Belgium, where Yinka lives, although they are not all originally from that country.

Yinka pulls each file sometimes knowing exactly which person she will talk about and sometimes randomly, which makes each performance slightly different. She has a very clever and disarmingly simple way of presenting each person, which is a large part of the charm of the show. Her style of delivery is respectful of the people she interviewed, sincere and non-judgemental. Occasionally Yinka’s facial expression changes subjectively, especially when introducing a family member or two, or when an interviewee asks her a question. There are several places in the fifty-minute performance when Yinka breaks the rhythm by infusing fascinating themed lists of combined experiences from the interviews, such as advice she received or the food they shared.

One Hundred Homes is a quietly impactful journey told through very short stories of many lives. Some are happy and content, a few less so for various reasons, but they are all sure about what home is to them. In a high tech world it is refreshing to see such a pure performance and low tech show that stands solid through the skills of this performer curator. The programme notes state that Yinka is working on a new documentary performance, which will premiere in 2017. She is developing an unusual low key creative style of theatre, which is very interesting – subtly provoking the listener to value people, no matter who they are or where they are from – and reminding us that we all have a story, hopes, dreams, challenges and feelings.

Published