City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Exposed Review

By Garry Platt - Posted on 02 August 2013

Show details
Impulse Collective
Running time: 
Mentored by New Perspectives Theatre Company (Nottingham)

Sometimes we give into them, sometimes we don't, sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it isn't. I am talking about impulses, the sudden urges that occasionally engulf us for no apparent rational reason. The weird inclinations that grab us out of nowhere and we find ourselves doing something we perhaps shouldn't. This is what the theatre company Impulse Collective have focused their performance piece on at this year's Fringe.

The group explores how impulse affects different people in different ways. For some it's just buying a naff camera off a TV shopping channel for others it's shaking your baby to death. Initially it's not apparent what if anything the show is trying to explore but the essence or premise upon which the performance rests becomes increasingly defined as the show progresses. Occasionally it's hard to follow, the references are too obscure, there's a sergeant major parade ground scene, I'm not certain what it was contributing.

To counter this there are some extremely clever pieces, in one section two of the actors stand there and explain that for two minutes audience members may come and do anything they like to them. In a split second the tension in that room skyrockets, the danger, the possibilities, the hidden fantasies flow up and into consciousness. In the show I watched the audience did virtually nothing but the stress experienced by the people watching was palpable. We're not expecting this and it confronts us at a visceral level.

The group employs some of the best digital projection of any show I have seen, in conjunction with physical movement. The latter is sometimes not in the same league as the spoken dialogue, the opening scene being an example of this, which struck me as being nowhere near as inventive as the rest of the show.

This performance will make you think, the questions it raises and observations it makes are important. The dramatic engagement of the audience is sometimes broken by a documentary style approach which emerges occasionally, but if you want to leave a theatre thinking, reflecting and perhaps a little disturbed, this is for you.

Runs 2-26 August, 12:05 (50 minutes)

Suitability 12+