City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Echoes, ZOO Venue, Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 10 August 2016

Jill 2 Echoes.jpg
Show details
Living Record
Running time: 
Neil Smith (writer), Ross Drury (director), Rose Ryan (movement director), Milan Terascas (sound design), Michael Corcoran (lighting design)
Jill Rutland(Helene), Luke Barton (John)

‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ says the 17th century aphorism.

Once upon a time, in an isolated cottage deep in the countryside John (Luke Barton) and Helene (Jill Rutland), meet again after nine years.

What follows is the unfolding of this couple’s past with all the grim detail of a pitch black fairy tale that’s been set in the present day.

Against the ‘sound and fury’ of rural life, there is a sense of walking into the middle of a stranger’s life and witnessing what is, in writer Neil Smith's words, "A Domestic Horror". And that’s exactly what the audience is doing because Echoes is the second instalment of a trilogy of one act plays written by Neil Smith, the first of which, Reunion, was performed in last year’s Fringe.

Film and TV dramas don’t shy from showing brutality but it is another matter and genuinely shocking to see it acted out on stage. This raw, barefoot, fiercely performed two-hander, tautly directed by Ross Drury with movement by Rose Ryan, is disturbing as it plumbs the depths of hideous payback with all the elements of the cruel revenge of a spurned partner.

Chilling hints of Norman Bates, with Helene embodying the couple’s child Julie, and vampirish elements are part of this salutary tale of love gone badly wrong written in powerful prose by, and performed with, intense physicality.

A warning to be careful who you mate with and be wary of the rural idyll is well worth catching this Fringe.

Aug 8 – 28 (not 15 & 22), 9pm Age recommend 16+