City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Losing Grace, Greenside @ Nicolson Square, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 11 August 2015

Losing Grace
Show details
Byteback Theatre
Running time: 
Kat Osborn (director), Jess Milne (assistant director), Karen Barnes (producer), David Hughes (lighting designer).
Amber Anders, Luke Aspinall, Linus Bruggen, Amy Clarke, Megan Dickinson, Jack England, Katie Lynch, Molly McPherson, Sophie Milne, Madeleine Paige, Charlotte Smith, Anthony Tither, Matthew Warren.

At the start of life you are presented with a box and it’s yours to fill up with memories and keep. But what if you come up empty ?

The piece is inspired by the time capsules of pop art’s Andy Warhol. 610 mystery cardboard boxes containing 300,000 everyday items that he sealed up over the course of the last 13 years of his life. “Everything I do is concerned with death” he said.

And it hovers here too as Grace is injured in a car crash and waits at death’s door. She is tying to join up her memories but they are snatched away like wisps of snow and the boxes refuse to offer up any contents. She seems to have no legacy, for what are you once you are gone but papers, photos and possessions?

As her family and friends gather round they hope to bring her back to conciousness by triggering memories, and so we see her at key life events, birthdays, holidays, Christmas parties, filling those boxes that now elude her. Some of the recollections are emotionality charged with, love, loss and despair and throughout she tries to reconcile her feelings for her flawed and sometimes distant father.

She needs to come to a conclusion as to whether her father’s love should find a way into that final box of memories and secrets.

This is an ensemble piece using physical theatre, and the fairly large cast allows for some visual inventiveness as the memory boxes become backdrops, sliding doors and staircases. Other scenes are bridged by movement and scarves depict collected memories and family bonds and barriers. Black costumes with pop-art style labels reference the events and philosophical questions brought up during the play.

It’s an adeptly performed look at what it means to be human but it lacks a bit of grace and is perhaps not yet quite worthy of that Warholian fifteen minutes of fame.

Show Times: 10 to 13 August 2015 at 12.45pm.

Ticket Prices: £7 (£5).

Suitability: 12+