City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Caught On Tape

By Lorraine McCann - Posted on 07 August 2007

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Zoo Southside
Putney Players
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Putney Players are a group of American high-school students who are currently touring the UK and other parts of the world, interviewing people about the subject of 'fear'. They then use the raw material of people's responses as the basis for generating a wide variety of theatrical vignettes, ranging from shadow-play and mime, to satirical sketches and physical theatre.

The piece begins with a violent shadow-play that brings together ideas of death and rebirth, murder and suicide. It sets the tone well, for the overriding perspective on fear that comes across in the piece is that violence and coercion are our greatest fear.

Torture and manipulation also figure strongly (I think too strongly), with some exceptionally good mime pieces from the women actors. On balance, I'd have thought they might have made more of the actual words that their interviewing gleaned, for there's something very simple and powerful about the language people use to talk about their worries. A small sketch in which a man lists all his fears and phobias works very well for this reason, but there's not enough of this.

With energetic, skilful performances and a very sound concept underpinning it, Caught On Tape has promise, if developed in a slightly more literate direction. A welcome addition to Edinburgh, though, for its short visit.