Fringe Online 2020
This begins with a voice over and visuals that show the sea in its menacing glory. Listening to someone describe their fear of water and of a particular place whilst also watching their fear in visual form sets the tone for what comes next. We get a lot of very interesting voice over testimony whilst the physicality of our performers, now appearing on a beach, sets it in a familiar context in terms of the seaside with an unfamiliar set of physical movement. It is a combination that comes close to amusing bounded by a complex visual, auditory narratives and a beautiful soundtrack.
The best bit about this, I felt was the narratives from the voice overs. Whilst what I was watching was far from a re-enactment of what I was hearing, it gave us context which could be argued was a little missing from the performances.
Whilst Madeline Baghurst, Ryuichi Fujimura and Alicia Gonzalez are fantastic as performers, this lack of connection made me wonder at what the visuals added to and complimented the testimony. The lack of even a thematic link left me wondering but then again that may be the intention.
I did not become confused by the visuals, as the soundtrack as well as the testimonies are well worth the hearing. It is simply that the movement made me question to what end they were connected to the stories. It didn’t make me miss any of the stories but puzzled me.
As it is a film, performance rules perhaps apply less though the live version would be one I would have been keen to witness. The lack of physical connection may well have threatened to lessen the experience but what came across was a visually more enhanced experienced which took advantage of that medium perfectly. Some of the spaces between the stories were beautifully executed.
Part of the credit for this is divided between Laura Turner and, Emily Ayoub who directed the performance element. It is well anchored and delivers a feeling of the beach and the tides of memory and experience colliding. The soundtrack by Ben Pierpoint was a particular favourite element. It just glided you through the experience, reminding you of the ebb and flow but also of the artistry behind it all; loved it.
As a piece to watch, this is fantastic. What it has as a point to prove or as a significant bump on the road of artistic discovery is perhaps less important than buckling up and taking the ride at a time when connections are strained and we need to just be in a moment where you just breathe, a little. As an under the current, under water opportunity, its worth the visit.