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Edinburgh Fringe 2022



Genre: Physical Theatre, Theatre, Visual Art

Venue: ZOO Southside - Main House


Low Down

The stage is strewn with equipment as one of our performers attempts to connect the technical aspects of the show with the messages, he is receiving on a giant screen in front of us. Once there appears to be a connection, that connection takes him, and us, through a variety of set pieces. We see him interact with the technology before, changing sounds, reacting to the noises and then he progresses to taking us way back to a point where circles of stone were formed at the ends of lines of stones with a suggestion that, perhaps there may be a further connection we are yet to make. It is a stone gothic ending, mining for copper.


The connection between the neolithic and the modern is one which takes a leap of faith to make. Here Mechanimal have put together quite a fascinating theatrical performance seeking to draw those connections together. Our principal performer manages to go from frustrated technician to the man who dances to the beats, draws out the rocks and then bangs away at them before building the structures which may have a hidden message which we need to consider before we can claim to have evolved.

This is a piece of theatre that knows that it is a piece of theatre. There is not an overarching narrative in search of a voice over to let us know what is going on, but it is a piece of performance which stands or falls on its due performance. And to an extent it really does work.

The beginning between technology and human manages to entice us in whilst the move towards the rocks coming out of their boxes makes it more intriguing. Once there is a little bit of information about the stones and how they relate to the whole idea being explored it makes it more likely we shall buy into the Deep Repair of it all.

There are elements of this which are really very good – loved the live camera, the lighting is really well thought through, the thump and noise of the music, the shapes on the ground and the dance element was well envisaged. It is a company who technically will give you what they want to give you as they have the technical know how to achieve that with ease and effort in equal measure.

Where it worked less was the banging, which was just banging a stone, the long section in half darkness where the lines were created, and pillars made. It lost some of its theatrical sparkle there. Aside from that dip, the copper mining and its exploration onstage left me with a worthy sense of an experience which is unique and worthy of deeper contemplation.


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