Kind of Silence

Inspired theatre from Solar Bear, which challenges perceptions

Taking their cue from the myth of Narcissus, doomed to fall in love with his reflection, and Echo, forever cursed to repeat the ends of sentences, Solar Bear's new production, directed by Danny Krass, is a powerful exploration of the limitations of communication.

Using haunting visuals and soundscapes, performers Charlene Boyd, Jacob Casselden and James Anthony Pearson make for a capricious trio. Whether playful or troubled, turning warm embraces into constricting squeezes, their sleek choreography by Chisato Minamimura depicts performance from a deaf performer's perspective. Casselden even demands, with much profanity in his sign language, that the music be turned up so he can feel vibrations, before creating a percussive dance using his own body.

Kai Fischer's ethereal design sees the trio respond to, and around, his cube where silent contemplation can be experienced. Live drummer and sound manipulator Alon Ilsar's sound textures almost act as a secondary character, veering from 90s dance music to sci-fi inspired sonics. The meaning of Boyd's words shift by restructuring, looping and shaping them.

It would seem logical that a modern day Narcissus would be obsessed with taking selfies, but this is the only obvious segment in a gorgeous, highly inventive piece of multi-sensory theatre.

Reviewed at Platform, Glasgow.

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