FringeReview Scotland 2014
Nic Green takes us on an engaging journey that replicates a first meeting with an estranged father. From that starting point she physically guides us through the sheer effort needed to engage with a distant parent which leads to the feeling that she is rounded enough to manage without such parental encumbrance – but not before she dances her night away.
We enter the Arches’ studio to a lone figure standing behind whom there is a drummer and a piper. The reference to Scottishness continues as we are asked to repeat words and phrases handily placed on a screen in front of us. As this process of engagement continues that lonely performer creates a circle, dances a jig, sheds her clothes and asks us to contemplate the nature of fatherhood. Highly impressive.
There is much to admire in Nic Green’s performance. Her fearlessness in shedding clothing whilst dancing vigorously to the pipes and drums aside she understands the format and formula of that performer/audience interaction well. We chant out loud to begin with, enthusiastically and when it looks like we might flag she changes tack and it becomes humorous and we are once again captured.
That we are fully engaged in her dialogue, controlled by her and willingly follow her is a delicious irony that is fully exploited. Her ingenious methods of shedding her clothes whilst dancing should not mask the key movement skills and interpretations that accompany them. I was enriched by the experience as Green took me on a whim round the nature of an exchange that may be biographical; but then again may not. Would it matter if it weren’t? After all was her point merely to give us an artistic view of an event that transcended the mundane?
The music and rhythm of the drum was hypnotic. It built up towards a crescendo that, for me, was complete when the music stopped. The finale continued and underlined the misstep as Green had to point out she was done with a thank you rather than accepting rapturous applause as we knew she was finished. There was applause and it was very fulsome for an event that lasted a little over half an hour. The crowd were clearly on her side.
As a piece of art, for me, this was almost complete enough needing little else by way of explanation or exposition. Apart from what I consider to be a slight mistake at the end it engaged and enthralled in equal measure. Green is clearly a theatre maker of some note and it is interesting to read how she arrived in the genre at her website. She was here for one night only and to help her Scottish ancestry I hope she felt us all scream – Haste Ye Back!