Writer: Toshiki Okada
Reviewer: David Doyle
When the disaster at Fukushima happened, Toshiki Okada wrote a play about the experience and FellSwoop have rendered a version that inhabits one of the vast empty rooms in Summerhall. It’s a play about an impending disaster, or a play about a disaster that’s already happened, or one about a disaster that simply doesn’t exist, because nobody quite knows what is happening and rumours are flying. At its heart, the show is a piece about the fear that grips a community amid a potential disaster. It’s a gripping exploration of a community facing incomprehensible change and it’s disarmingly devastating.
The play’s seemingly simple story focused on a group of young women in a choir rehearsal room and helps make the show incredibly powerful. Thenarrowedfocus on a small group allows a complex issue to be teased out in a way that seems comprehensible. Dealing with issues of climate change, the show makes an issue that often seems overwhelmingly large, digestible and allows an audience to see the personal impact it has.
It’s not just the story being told that’s impressive, it’s also the way it’s being told. The show has been specifically developed and staged for the space in Summerhall and it makes tremendous use of that space that draws the audience into the world of the piece, and with the help of a subtle but striking sound design, creates an intense atmosphere that drives the narrative.
This is an important tale that deals with complex issues in a way that’s both theatrically innovative and gripping throughout.
Runs until August 30, 2015