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8:8


Mercimax, Swiss Selection Edinburgh
Summerhall
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This short piece of devised experimental theatre manages to both intrigue and baffle, and at a mere twenty-five minutes long, it's not a great ask of patrons to participate in what is plainly a live art installation.

Ruminating on the nature of a variety of aspects, the piece allows eight patrons to view the same number of performers, who engage in some expressive physical theatre. Following this, each of the eight explains a lot or a little about themselves, some of which will be true, some partly true and some not at all, allowing these things to flow over the participants, that they may form their own impressions about that which they have experienced.

Like most experimental art theatre, there are many people for whom 8:8 will fall completely flat. In fact at a brief 25 minutes, of which the first few are an unnerving nothing, it's a piece that feels a tad thin. This is a pity, as when the performance moves into its latter stages there are hints of something far deeper and more fascinating. Ultimately, it's a self-reflective piece that asks the audience to go along with the experience. It's certainly different, and has artistic worth, but those who wish to see conventional theatre ought to go elsewhere.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan