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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

The Big Smoke

Theatre Ad Infinitum

Venue: Pleasance, Jack Dome.


Low Down

  Inspired by women such as Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, this piece is a truly modern exploration of the limits of mental health, psychosis and female identity. Song and physicality and inter-woven throughout the piece to make it truly unique and exceptional. This show will not be for everyone – it covers some disturbing and difficult themes – but it exudes accomplishment and is a wonderful example of new theatre.


Natalie is a brilliant, talented artist who is flown over to the UK to potentially be exhibited in the Tate.  She has her whole career ahead of her: respected artists are full of praise, constantly reminding her of her potential to succeed. However, something is wrong. Riddled with the belief that she is a ‘phoney’ and rapidly watching her own decline into herself, she begins to have twisted and suicidal thoughts.

The piece is typically Jacques LaCoq in that every movement is punctuated spotlessly; the physicality is fantastically delivered and ingenious in its conception.

Amy Nostbakken, or Natalie, is fantastic throughout. The piece is almost entirely sung by Nostbakken, which somehow brings the physicality to life. The two disciplines work in harmony with one another creating a piece that is totally enchanting to watch. One-performer shows can often lag, but this certainly does not in any shape or form.

As a performer she is endlessly talented, composing the music and directing the piece in collaboration with Nir Paldi of the equally brilliant ‘Odyssey.’ Her voice is enchanting and haunting, heart-wrenching and beautiful all at the same time. She brings the troubled Natalie to life perfectly and truly is a gifted performer.

Ad infinitum have become a critically acclaimed theatre company and The Big Smoke is an example of why. It’s completely breathtaking. It frazzles with energy but yet is haunting in it’s stillness. For many, this will be another devised piece that is abstract and fails to entertain, but they would be very very wrong. It’s beautiful and accomplished.