C Chambers Street
From 30 July 2014 to 09 August 2014
Review by Graeme Strachan
After bursting onto the Fringe in 2012 with the captivating Why Do you Stand There in the Rain?, Pepperdine Scotland has returned with a new piece of devised theatre, Forget Fire.
Having eschewed the more traditional narrative with which they made their name, this production stands as a far more dreamlike and metaphorical musing on the modern reliance and impact which digital communication has upon our lives.
Following the revelation that a countywide search for a missing child has in fact been the result of a Catfish-style Internet hoax, a young girl decides to put aside her mobile 'phone and, untethered from the online world, is led on a series of vignettes by her own personal puckish rogue.
It's a clever piece of theatre, with a clever mixture of metaphors and allusions, drawing comparable scenarios between the inventions of the typewriter and abacus and the modernisation of technology and communications with abstracts from mythology and stargazing, with a repeated reference to the story of Prometheus.
The cast move and wind around each other in movement and music, not to mention a touching scene of sign language poetry, all bound in a little cheeky humour.
Within this miasma of ideas and imagery, it would be easy to get lost, and it's a credit to the company that the thematic chain of the play never loses the simplicity of the tale, holding back from the clear message that, while we can never go back to the days before our technology, that all we need do is step away from our devices and embrace those around us to thrive.
A thoroughly entertaining play, and proof that Pepperdine is a company here to stay the distance.