Just the facts

12 April 2017

Elise Fairbairn muses on No Human is Illegal, Say it Loud and Swallow

Today was a day about refugees and wars. It also included discussions and workshops, but mainly a theme of crisis and what is going on in the world (primarily Syrian-based). It seemed like a day of fact-giving, just like watching the news – however, this news was delivered by students and didn’t lie to us.

Let us begin with No Human is Illegal, a show that was performed by a large cast and a young one at that. The sixth-form students did a phenomenal job of getting across their stories and how they discovered the war on Syria, their performance was impressive and their professional attitude was something to admire, especially in such a young cast. Using physical theatre, video and recordings they captivated the entire room and had the audience engaged throughout.

One point: it would’ve been nice to know where the recordings came from / who said them, so possibly an idea to use projection to place who is saying what to make it a little more shocking / interesting. Bravo!

Continuing this theme, Say it Loud performed a piece of engaging theatre and poetry, something that I am a sucker for... It was something different and there were moments of purity alongside the dramatic sections. This piece could be performed anywhere, it was minimal and true; these elements are what drew me towards it and wants them to take it further!

Take it to Edinburgh, change it, adapt it – after all, you speak so much about change in your piece, why are you so afraid of doing it yourselves? Please fact-check all your information though, as you cannot perform a piece like this with information you are unsure of; it then becomes a lie and the audience begin to disbelieve you. Fabulous stuff, but don’t be afraid of change. It’s needed.

Swallow happened. It was white. Everything was white. Metaphors began and I found myself thinking, “I know something is happening, I’m just unsure what...” I don’t know if it’s after the intense day of theatre I had, or if I was expecting more facts to be yelled at me via poetry, this piece felt a bit “OK”. I’m not saying it was bad, but it felt a little “words words movement words” (in my opinion, anyway).

This festival is great and I’m seeing theatre I like, dislike and the in-betweeners, but so far the festival is a banger and the next few days will be great!

Top show of the day: Say it Loud

Stand out tech member day: Sam L