Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Summerhall – Main Hall


Summerhall – Main Hall From the very beginning of Laura Murphy’s hour-long performance, we can tell what a great deal of work has gone into it. Each element slots in like in a jigsaw – a pastime she really likes, we are told. Even when not making much sense as individual pieces, they all contribute to the full picture. From a technical perspective, everything is pristine, each segment impeccably executed. The projections on the gauze suspended in the foreground not only give context to the transitions, but provide captions throughout – something that, sadly, in this age of accessibility…

Rating



Excellent

Laura Murphy’s brainchild is a blistering jigsaw of different artforms and personal thoughts.

From the very beginning of Laura Murphy’s hour-long performance, we can tell what a great deal of work has gone into it. Each element slots in like in a jigsaw – a pastime she really likes, we are told. Even when not making much sense as individual pieces, they all contribute to the full picture.

From a technical perspective, everything is pristine, each segment impeccably executed. The projections on the gauze suspended in the foreground not only give context to the transitions, but provide captions throughout – something that, sadly, in this age of accessibility awareness, is still so rarely seen on a live stage.

The routines at the aerial rope are imaginative and, rather than being mere entertainment, add extra dimensions to the message. When she first climbs on it, with her body held horizontally and enveloped in a foggy greyish glare, her white tracksuit morphs into a spacesuit and we’re blown away by the visual suggestion that there is an absence of gravity.

Her spoken word is raw. Anger, disappointment and the determination to foster change seep through it. She’s unapologetic, in open critique with the government, the Royal Family and a society that hardly embraces diversity, ever so preoccupied with the exploration of the Universe and yet so oblivious to the climate of destruction and the isolation that human beings face on Earth. Lip-sync is used to mock Elon Musk’s race to space. There is also a love letter to her partner Ruby, threaded through the fabric of her words. Nothing is out of place and nothing feels redundant.

A couple of scenes might sag a little – like when she’s hitting a mic with her head inside the cardboard box of a helium canister, whilst the whole of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You plays loudly in the background. They’re a bit like those pesky jigsaw pieces that are all the same colour and don’t seem to fit anywhere, but they eventually do. 

This is a show about Laura, the space she’s claiming for herself, the things she feels strongly about and her neurodivergent view of the world she lives in. Indeed, she made a spectacle of herself!


Written by: Laura Murphy
Directed by: Ursula Martinez
Produced by: Contra Productions, Carré Magique and Cambridge Junction

A Spectacle of Herself plays at EdFringe 2023 until 13 August, 12:55pm at Summerhall. Further information and bookings here.


By Sandra Winters

Writer | Author | Wordsmith Passionate about crafting stories that captivate and inspire. Published author of [Book Title]. Dedicated to exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences through the power of words. Join me on this literary journey as we delve into the realms of imagination and uncover the beauty of storytelling.