Browse reviews

FringeReview Scotland 2023

The I of the Beholder

Sung Im Her Journey to the East Festival

Genre: Dance and Movement Theatre, LGBTQ+ Theatre, Physical Theatre

Venue: 103 French Street, Glasgow


Low Down

One woman is lit in the centre of a stage. Through three movement pieces she engages with us, drawing us into her world where we are asked to appreciate a solitary movement, a single existence. We begin with movement on the floor, then to a voice over which directs our thoughts as our gaze is engaged. Finally, a sheet of golden cloth becomes the wrap above which our performer is covered below waist, whilst covered in a black and dirty substance above.



I got to see this in a video piece which was filmed when the piece was performed at the Journey to the East Festival just the weekend before. Even though I was an observer at a screen it held power. The beginning which has music to support and work us into a strange hypnotic movement of an initial staccato stumblings, before we move into the second phase. The words manage to give more depth, but it is still the movement and dance which captivates. This is never more so than in the final piece. The cloth, gold and shiny is brought onstage whilst our performer covers her upper body in dark liquid, like oil. Given where we are in the world this has significance and speaks to us as an audience.

Once she moves to the point where she stands, and the dirty protest is mounted upon such a gold plinth is remarkably simple but massively effective. This is about space as a conversation and the tone of that debate is effectively flowing across form the stage which allows for more than contemplation. It challenges both conceptions and misconceptions, which really did work effectively.

Suing Im Her is a gifted performer, and this had been tightly directed for this short precis. It worked well and you could see the subtle hints at movements clearly, even from my distant gaze.

Technically this does not find itself able, in a sparse warehouse, to call upon a great deal of technical wizardry, but it does not need to. The simplicity of it, metaphorically and literally dances across the divide. It is directed with that in mind which makes it  piece of theatre where I was totally delighted to see, but would have loved the chance to be in the performance space with it. It’s a joy, it’s a delight, it breathes life and only the lonely would fail to spot its genius.