Festival Delights and Surprises

Fielding through thousands of titles in the thick, encyclopedic Fringe Festival catalog isn't how you choose a show to see. Sprawled across various venues in churches, art galleries, and courtyards, seeing the Fringe burst all across Edinburgh is beyond thrilling. Street buskers vie for your attention, while canvassers hand out showcards. Perhaps, one can see what discounts are being offered at Virgin Mobile Half Price Hut. But there's no appeal in that when you could get a bigger sell by watching a parade of performers hawking their magic.

While venturing through the Pleasance Dome, a melange of venues, I came across a show categorizing itself as a physical mime piece. Titled Form, it depicts three generic office workers who become trapped in their menial robotic tasks. As devised by the Rendered Retina Theatre group, Form plays out to an amusing conceit throughout the show's journey. After one decides to break out from the trio of drones, the mimed, non-dialogue narrative transports the quick action to a surgical operating room, a day at the beach, an underwater rescue, then to a fierce blizzard.

This disciplined trio and such agile creators are comprised of three longtime members of Rendered Retina: Tom Mangan, Alex Mangan and Jordan Choi. They employ resourceful usage of props including storage boxes, staplers, phones, cellophane, and about 20,000 crumpled paper balls.

Besides the countless offerings at the Fringe, the International Festival curates its own slate of cross-disciplinary performances. You have previously read my encounter with the funny and sassy chanteuse, Meow Meow. I took a different turn for a show heavy on dramatic implications.

Flight, a migrant tale of two boys fleeing from Kabul fleeing for a better life in London, is an expertly constructed diorama of theatrical standards. The viewer is escorted individually to a dimly lit booth equipped with headphones. Once settled, the narrative exhibit is rolled out in minutely designed set boxes cued by the stereophonic soundscapes and the illuminative lighting design.

Originating from Glasgow, the theatrical artisans Vox Motus have conceived a unique experience of storytelling. Using the Caroline Brothers story Hinterland as its haunting source, the designers pull at your emotions with a blend derived from graphic storyboard, museum exhibit, cinematic transition and audio narration.

Categories: Arts, Theater, TravelTags: , , , , , , , ,

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