Fringe Online 2020
A 3D camera takes a walk around the capital of Scotland, held by a variety of people who have special reasons for loving the city and being in its bosom. As the camera gets passed from one to another we meet the van driver, the charity director, the comedian, the dancer, the cleric and through their discourse and their travels the city, not in a glory but in its reality. The camera allows you to swivel and see more than that at which it is pointed so we get to be as interactive as possible with the process.
I loved this from beginning to end. It is more than just Google maps with brains and a narrator. It is the humanization of exploration by the techniques afforded to us by technology. It’s a great story told dead well.
It would be easy to just say that I spent the whole 40 minutes or so shouting out, “Oh I know here that is…” but I did so much more. I heard the experiences of people unknown to me delivered in a simple and yet dramatic manner as they took me round some of the familiar sights I know so well – each and every August. As there was no artifice in their voices but genuine warmth and affection kit chimed beautifully. It was interesting to note that, at least two of our guides have put their Glaswegian passports in danger by announcing affect for THAT city!
Directed with enough of a grasp of what might work whilst making sure that we did not end up with an over directed series of monologues it was a gentle and affirming experience. It eschewed the tourist traps to give us street level in a way that heightened its charm.
The performers drew you in as they talked of their love of the city whilst also acknowledging their experiences. It was, however, not an advert for the city. It was an advert for the human spirit that has endured a time of temper and intemperate politic.
The script, as it had many voices and hands on its development has managed to show a complete whole that is as remarkable as it is impressive.
The camera work whilst it could have fallen into the gimmicky, was a key element of its success. I would urge people to swivel the experience round and capture what is in the background, you may find dance steps in unusual places.
It has reminded me of what we have missed this August as there was no Fringe and one of the premium venues placing this in our pathway is more than applaudable. It reminds us of why we need to get this back into theatre as soon as possible. The live is always better than the recorded, though when the recorded is as ingenious as this, it makes the waiting more bearable…