Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Greenside @ Nicholson Square – Lime Studio


Greenside @ Nicholson Square – Lime Studio The destructive effects of the climate emergency are immediately perceivable in this performance artwork by Vertebra Theatre. Billed as blending “ice installation, music and physical theatre”, one can only assume the ice has already melted due to global warming, since it is nowhere to be seen. This is a very effective way, however unintentional, to make us experience the sense of loss. In the interest of clarity, I should mention that the opening silent video shows Mayra Stergiou (who is also the company’s artistic director) smashing some blocks of ice. Then there…

Rating



Poor

The stage version of a lockdown online hit fails to translate its cinematic language into something effective, instead leaving its audience cold.

The destructive effects of the climate emergency are immediately perceivable in this performance artwork by Vertebra Theatre. Billed as blending “ice installation, music and physical theatre”, one can only assume the ice has already melted due to global warming, since it is nowhere to be seen. This is a very effective way, however unintentional, to make us experience the sense of loss. In the interest of clarity, I should mention that the opening silent video shows Mayra Stergiou (who is also the company’s artistic director) smashing some blocks of ice.

Then there is the ethical question of how honest a company should be to their audience and whether it is fair to boast multiple four-star ratings knowing that these weren’t awarded to the performance taken to Edinburgh. This stage piece is a live rendition of an online show that received critical acclaim in Covid times. The blurb never mentions the cinematic version, so I had to do some research to try and understand why something that had been so well received in the past left me entirely befuddled.

The three performers are seen wearing white disposable boiler suits. Stergiou is initially bundled on the floor and wrapped in cling film – which I hope they are reusing, otherwise that’s a lot of plastic wasted in the name of art. When she breaks free and leaves the stage, the other two engage in a convulse dance around three pomegranates. This last for some time, until it is interrupted by a voiceover reading a journal entry – we can’t quite hear it, but some technical issues can be forgiven at the Fringe.

The frantic dance restarts and is followed by a speech made simultaneously in Spanish and Portuguese, which mentions an experiment they carried out a number of times and failed. It is a fair assumption that not everyone would be able to understand what is said, so this must be intended to further alienate us.

There’s no discernible talent that helps to keep the performance together. The dance is very generic, music doesn’t have a prominent role and the use of a polar bear head as a puppet is rough around the edges – also prompting an ill-placed episode of crowd participation. Disruption may be the main sentiment that inspired this work, but being so disjointed and abstract, it reveals itself as an unsuitable substitute to the cinematic version. Disappointing at best, but also misleading to its audience.


Devised and Produced by: Vertebra Theatre Company

An Ice Thing To Say plays at EdFringe 2023 until 26 August, 7:35pm at Greenside Nicholson Square. 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.