Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Thrown by Jodi Gray

Living Record Productions

Genre: Contemporary, Experimental, Immersive, Multimedia, One Person Show, Solo Performance, Solo Show, Theatre

Venue: Underbelly Big Belly


Low Down

Written by award-winning playwright, Jodi Gray; Thrown combines fiction with collected testimony to explore the accidental events that end our childhood.  Told using binaural sound technology and a solo performer, Thrown is a sensory and cinematic reverie on consciousness, mortality and the tales we’ve all survived to tell.


The content of this piece is taken from real-life testimony gathered from all over the country.  You can even upload your own stories to after the show.  This is a layered show, not like anything I have seen or heard before.  The piece is fragmented and non-narrative based.  Jill Rutland is a wonderful performer and it was a pleasure to have her in my ears for this engaging and daring performance.  Her physicality was mesmerising and she captivated the audience while her dulcet tones poured into our ears.  Her partner on stage was Frank, a white head with microphones in his ears attached to a microphone stand.  The interplay between the real performer and Frank was interesting and Jill’s every whisper or breath on Frank was felt directly by every audience member.

Ross Drury had to direct not only the performer but also Frank, and the added dimension of the headphones  the entire audience wear.  He did an excellent job and all of the many layers that this piece needs are woven together with a delicate hand and skilled ear.  This show had a lot of tech –  Frank, the headphones and the onstage mixing desk.  Bringing all of that complex equipment to the Edinburgh Fringe was a bold move and one that could have easily backfired on LivingRecordProductions. However this company smashed it.  They have upped the game as to what you can accomplish at The Fringe and have created a visually strong and technically tight show.  The creative team behind this show deserve a big shout out especially sound designer Chris Drohan,

The simple circle of birdies (small theatre lights) were incredibly effective for this piece; The thin beams of the light increased and decreased with the piece, highlighting and defining Frank and the performer.  It was a clever and tidy way to enclose the performance area and increase the dream-like and surreal quality of this evocative creation. The choice of Big Belly as a venue was creatively clever as there is something womb-like about the arched ceilings and moist air.

If you like to watch theatre with a strong and clear narrative then you had best look else where.  This piece revels in its fragmented and disjointed nature.  This reviewer has seen several shows involving headphones (not at this fringe) but Living Record Productions took this new(ish) tech and used it in an original and fresh manner.  

I loved this show.  The hour long piece felt like minutes and I was totally absorbed by the trance-making effects of the multi layered performance.  It made me ponder over when I knew my childhood was over.  There is a beautiful part when a child asked if they have to grow up and the performer observes that simply asking the question means they are already growing up and innocence is partly lost.

All the aspects of this show worked together to create a truly fresh and creative performance.  I was completely absorbed by this fascinating risk taking and innovate company & show.  It is not a show with a beginning, middle and end but it raised emotions and feelings and made me think of my life, my journey, my moment of innocence-breaking.  It questions the lies we tell children about being safe, being protected; that our parents promise us we will be ok with no conceivable way to keep that promise.  This is a Must See Show, the company have taken great risks and they have paid off.