City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Liberation, Zoo Southside, Review

By michelle.haynes - Posted on 20 August 2015

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Zoo Southside
The Alchemist Theatre Company
Running time: 
Luke Clarke (Producer), Anthony Stephen Springall (Producer/ composer), Annabel Morely (Assistant Director), Gabriel Manthorpe (Musician), Jessica Rose Boyd (Company Manager), Tim Boyd (Lighting designer/ Technical Manager)
Marco Nanetti, Niki Angus, Lily Levin, Giorgio Borghes, Laura Sophia Becker

The Alchemist Theatre Company sets out to liberate the audience from whatever it is they feel trapped by, be it a mundane office job, a life of never ending opportunities that are never quite reached, or simply the constraint of having to wear clothes to fit into society. With full frontal nudity from the very beginning it is perhaps not one to take your parents to.

The plot of ‘Liberation’ is somewhat sporadic. Verging on a complete lack of through line the performers jump from repetitive physical scores, to monologues in the microphone and of course ripping their clothes off and throwing paint at one another. There doesn’t seem to be any link between these scenes, which is most likely intentional as they attempt to break out from a system of order. As a result the main bulk of the performance (unsurprisingly) is compiled of nudity and a combination of liquid and powdered paint.

The piece commences with a promising start as a naked body writhes around on the floor, almost insect-like, emerging into her surroundings. Various speeches then ensue at the microphone claiming our lives are a series of never ending goals that are never going to be achieved; and it seems as though there might be a somewhat thought provoking message underneath the shock factor. However, the piece then begins to go downhill. As it gets increasingly chaotic it tries to say too many things at once; disappointingly amounting to none at all.

The movement scenes were under-rehearsed, and considering they were so repetitive it lost any organic essence. The piece relied heavily on the nudity which would have had more effect had they remained entirely naked for the 55 minutes. All of the performers also reflected the kind of bodies the media bombard us with daily. Obviously every size and shape should be celebrated; however the lack of variation in cast didn’t evoke that message.

The cast do have to be commended for their bravery however, it is not an easy thing to stand stark naked in front of a large audience. The live music was also a high point, although the piece as a whole didn’t manage to really convey a message and sadly they missed an opportunity to liberate the audience.

Performances until 19th August 2015, 6pm.