Wednesday, 15 August 2012

More Light - Edinburgh Fringe review

Written by: Seona (@SeonaMcclintock)

C Eca, Edinburgh
A dying emperor seals himself inside his tomb with a group of his wives, trapped with no choice but to accept their dark fate. But their calm subservience is broken as they find new life in death.

Bryony Lavery’s tale of survival, love, hope, art and eventually cannibalism is an odd one, and the juxtaposition of Oriental tradition with a sort of contemporary edge is not entirely comfortable. But the play is in good hands with director Laura Vorwerg, who makes every moment beautiful and does not over-embellish Lavery’s captivating language.

Natasha Shah dazzles as More Light: the narrator, the woman and the symbol. She brings the empty stage to life so eloquently before the rest of the fabulous cast grace the stage; a strong cast of people who so elegantly embody the poise of these women, trapped in their tomb and yet more liberated than ever.

It is notoriously difficult to crack the formula for a good Fringe show but it seems this young company, Half Remembered Dreams, have stumbled upon the secret in their debut. Neither too basic nor over-complicated they strike the balance perfectly, with little touches such as origami birds and clever projections giving all of the impact necessary with none of the clutter. The costumes were yet another example of great design without fuss, with dresses and robes which conjured the Far East in a small room off a back alley in Edinburgh. With such a promising start, I can’t wait to see what else this new company comes up with. This production is running until the end of the Fringe Festival, so you have no excuse to miss it. 

More Light runs until 27 August 2012. 
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