Out Of Water
Caroline Wright and Helen Paris
Escalator East to Edinburgh
Summerhall @ Portobello Beach
From 08 August 2014 to 10 August 2014
Review by Seth Ewin
Great location, there can't be many shows were you watch the performance while walking barefoot on the wet sand of a beach with clear views out to islands and coastline. There is always a risk to outdoor performances in Britain, but when the weather is fine it really pays off.
Great timing; not only was it at sunset (or sunrise as they perform twice every day) but also the production chose a weekend with a particularly good full moon. Dark clouds were looming over Edinburgh but luckily they didn't head east to block the moon and pour down rain.
Great music, Jocelyn Pook's score is what really makes the piece and it sung perfectly by the singers. Laura Wright, soprano, was the lead singer and her voice carries beautifully across the beach.
The piece is very tied into the sea, the music echoes the sounds, the lyrics describe resuscitation techniques for drowning victims and the performers eventually submerge themselves in the sea at the end. It is a production firmly immersed in it's surroundings, a well thought out piece of site specific theatre.
The performance starts like a silent disco with headphones and radios for the audience. This opening section is a little drawn-out, with the performers moving to the music and heaving a long rope. There could have been a little more choreography to this section. The music and speeches that had been recorded however are very good.
The overall experience, though, of the production is very relaxing and enjoyable. It is a wonderful way to enjoy a beach that I am already very familar with. There are several nice moments and including the interactions between the performers and the audience.
The heart of the piece, with the singers forming a "v" shape and singing with the waves breaking behind them, is a great spectacle to witness.