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FringeReview Scotland 2023


Clare Simpson/ Moa Johansson & An*Dre Neely

Genre: Experimental, Experimental Art, Installation Theatre, Performance Art

Venue: Buzzcut Festival – Tramway Theatre


Low Down

Two performances presented as part of the Buzzcut Festival described as durational and promenade. The first was hosted by Clare Simpson with individual audience members having the opportunity to interact with her prior to moving onto tapes left for people to listen to in machines on one corner of the stage. In a third corner, down stage left there is a washing line and explanation that a Banshee would wash your clothes prior to the loss of your life, serving as a warning of death. The second performance was centred around a construction in the midst of a relatively large space. The central  large structure had sails and rigging around which three artists interacted with it as we watched their wanderings and wrappings amongst us.



Art should push. Here I was pushed. In Banshee the interaction between her audience and Clare was worthy of longer contemplation as the interest she evoked amongst those who had arrived was touchable. I was unable to join the snaking queue time constraints, all mine – but the reaction of those who did was interesting as she would vocalise part of their interaction through a microphone which made an eerie addition to our aural balance.

Of those who wandered to the less personal tapes their study was curious. There was little by way of shock, given the subject matter and plenty that saw them concentrate hard on both the topic matter and the lines in the audio tracks they listened to. There were pieces of written material to accompany these audio tapes. The sparse nature of the piece, the opportunity to watch from the seats as an audience or take your place in amongst it was an experience which worked well. The set dressing and how it was organised helped.

With Echoes Filling Up The Orbit, there was more movement and more going on but a little less spectacle. The movement and interaction appeared to be influenced by individuals and the ambience of their setting. It was less contemplative, though the audio helped make it feel like there was clear purpose. The putting on of the equipment prior to being able to connect to the centrepiece by the artists was mundane but had clarity. The sculptured centrepiece was impressive and clearly had its own part to play as had the soundscape which promoted, for me, elements of contemplation and musing.

And here is where I think this was pushing my own response to each piece of artwork. Had I had longer to linger on each there may have been a deeper sense of engagement with more to watch and observe or participate within but for the time I had, what struck me was the level of diversity in amongst I found myself. This was without a shadow of a doubt one of the most diverse audiences I have been amongst for some time. It had dignity and pride in equal measure and the feeling of safety promoted comfort and reflection. As a straight cis-man, I was challenged by slogans on tote bags as well as the fashion choices of people around me. There were also children playing at being Spiderman in the gardens amongst artists being interviewed on video in the foyer. There was a buzz about the whole thing. For that, I felt grateful to have been there and privileged that I could walk out and know that art had pushed me – back into the cut and thrust of creation.


Show Website

Buzzcut Festival