FringeReview Scotland 2014
Tina Hofman takes us into the world where one person has lost the one she wished had stayed because they completed each other. Through movement, photography and words she takes us on a journey that is as disconnected as the guilt and loss she feels.
The black stage has a white square upon it. On that square is one women. She begins using movement to tell the story of the partner who is absent. The partner she met, moved in with and became his constant companion. She also became his muse as she was the one study his photography wished to capture. We therefore see many photographs on screen which often follow actions we have seen onstage – we get the originals to copy the theatrical. We come to know the reason for their absence and the harsh words spoken to them prior to their final absence which bring the guilt. These are explained out in the audience before an ending that involved Tina running in circles as she has no doubt been running in circles in pain with no release.
The story is one to which many can relate as someone who passes takes with them the indelible impression of our anger rather than the love we wish them. As a story therefore it is hardly new. The story though has a resonance and the telling of it is what needs to make the performance stand out. This packaging had a narrative that was disjointed, hinted at before we got the full impression. It was therefore asking our emotional intelligence to engage rather than our sense of order. For me that worked very well and I felt that the method of the story telling was one of its strengths.
Tina Hofman is a very watchable performer. The physical movement used in Lucid Interval was particularly challenging so we really got a sense of how far she needed to push the boundaries. It was also interesting when she spoke that it took me a moment to realise it was live as recorded voice had been used previously. It jarred in the way, I think it was meant, and I had to think rather than just feel what was in front of me.
The square out of which she only escaped when she came into the audience was a tremendous additional marker. Being trapped even within the bed that they shared seemed more than apt. I was therefore not so keen to see that broken and I don’t think that the walking into the audience worked all that well. I was also not so keen on the ending as it appeared a little contrived.
What I did love was the black and white photography. It gave a real sense of the couple and the intimacy that they shared. It brought what happened into sharp focus with a real sense of engagement for us as an audience. We became voyeurs of their happiness but we were welcomed in and this allowed us a sense of shared understanding.
Overall this was a tremendous piece of theatre that truly pushed the boundaries. Such a commonly held and known story does need to find a means of doing that and in this Tina Hofman has found it. With a few tweeks or just proving me wrong this could push things further. The international collaboration that made this possible which included Croatian practitioners has been a triumph.