Edinburgh Fringe 2019
A whale has ended up on the London Underground. Our protagonist has somewhere to go. Will she get there? Shall she be able to wrap her arms around it? Will she conquer her language barrier? She takes us on a journey across London with a suitcase full of hope and joy before finally trying to resolve her language communication barrier – along the way it is a dancer’s joy and celebration which turns out to have an environment at its heart that we are delighted to be a part of.
I saw this last year and was puzzled at times by it. I think that there is a crisper and heartier performance here that took me along the way far better than before. I can get on board with the premise readily enough but found some of the narrative difficult to truly engage with last time round. This time it was there and wonderful to witness.
In particular amongst many other great set pieces, I loved the bus journey and the use of the suitcase. The connection though between our recent immigrant and this giant mammal is not always obvious but the message is always clear.
The space used for the show was perfect. The distance we had between us and Flarys gave better perspective and I loved the way in which the movement was an indicative part of the narrative. There were times when I thought that we could have had a wee bit more flow in terms of lighting or more effects, but these were balanced against the way in which Flarys spoke to us; always a very engaging presence. She had a clarity and confidence that gave me the interactive pulse of a piece that was in confident mode.
The languages used and discarded, the way in which nationalities were bandied about was also pleasing to my ears. In a time of national uncertainty to have the boldness and array of possibilities for us, as humanity seems to be breaking itself down into narrow nationalist groups was affirming. Rather than showing the differences, it gave me hope that we could face the same problems and target the same resources to combine for a solution.
I was glad to have seen this a second time to mark my own development against the gaze of it as a performance piece. It has an absurd notion with which to begin, but an all too obvious reason as to why we should pay attention.