All That is Wrong

Koba Ryckewaert, Joeri Smet, Rob van Ertvelde, Sophie de Somere, Zach Hatch and Alexander Devriendt

Ontroerend Goed

Traverse 2

From 02 August 2012 to 12 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

You can rely on Belgians Ontroerend Goed to come up with something unexpected in Edinburgh. Frequently, they use youngsters to make adults think and it works really well yet again with this production.

In keeping with the Traverse’s programme this year, rather than a hoard of noisy teens, All That is Wrong relies on a stage compliment of only two, both of whom were instrumental in the writing.

The catalyst is Koba Ryckewaert, a skinny 18-year-old girl who cares deeply about the world and its ills. Her companion, very much in a supporting role, is Zach Hatch who also runs much of the onstage technology.

Eschewing speech other than between the duo, this piece starts with Miss Ryckewaert chalking her thoughts of herself (hence the verbatim information above) on a blackboard laid on the floor.

Slowly, her personal musings give way to tweet–length ponderings on the state of politics, people and thought today, as the blackboards expand to fill the floor.

Despite the fact that the thinker is only 18, she seems to have caught the zeitgeist perfectly in a show that should be tedious in the extreme but somehow worms its way into the audience’s collective psyche.

All That is Wrong may be a little closer to conceptual art than theatre but is still one of the picks of this year’s Traverse programme.