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Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective


Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well! Live stage shows in Central Scotland, be they Shakespeare or avant-garde.

Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Chase Scenes @ Summerhall

This multimedia show is part of Summerhall’s CanadaHub programme at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018, presented at the King’s Hall on Clerk Street, just one block away from the main Summerhall complex. It involves a trio of female Canadian stage performers: Alexandra Elliott, Hilary Crist and the show’s creator, Ming Hon, as well as multimedia artist jaymez who deals with the technical side of things.

The show is divided up into 60 different scenes which depict chases and other frenzied situations, where each of the three actresses takes turns to assume a central role. The other two become involved in filming her via live feeds, which are shown on projectors at the back of the stage. During their respective turns, each actress runs on the spot, around the stage and into (including interacting with) the audience, while dealing with some imagined adversity.

The overall feel of the production is intended to evoke that archetypal nightmare trope of having to escape from some terrifying situation or manifestation. Some of the scenes are dark and disturbing (a refugee fleeing with her baby, a woman escaping from a domestic abuse situation), while others are far more comedic (a runaway bride, a dog attack courtesy of a blatant fluffy toy canine). Subjectively, my favourites were the ones called Parkour (featuring one of the actresses clambering over audience seating, balconies and bannisters), Rearview (a car chase involving a bit of audience interaction and even a couple of toy cars at one point) and UFO (making great use of lighting, multimedia and a glass-wobbling sound effect).

It’s an imaginative and energetic show which (bar a brief breath-catcher interlude, enlivened by projected pictures of such iconic chase movie stars as Matt Damon and Tom Cruise) never flags in terms of pacing. At an hour’s length, it can also be argued that it ’s longer than it needed to be; 20 minutes or half an hour would have been ideal for such non-stop frenzy. Nonetheless, the evident tireless commitment that the three performers display as they switch in and out of their many roles, coupled with the impressive technical staging of the whole show, combine to make it well worth catching up with.

Or, to put it another way, it provides the opportunity to flee frantically from the usual lukewarm stand-up towards a refreshing show which is both avant-garde and unpretentiously relatable.

Watch a video:

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Tickets are available from the following link:

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 logo

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