- Clare McVay
- 10 August 2018
This article is from 2018.
A profoundly personal testimony, punctuated by aerial acrobatics
'What does it take to make a baby?' is the question repeated throughout this performance. The right people, the right parts, the right timing and the right intention are some of the offered answers. The same could be said for what makes a good piece of theatre.
As each audience member enters into the womb-like warmth and darkness of the lecture theatre venue, they pass a naked human in foetal position, suspended in a bag of water. It's a bold beginning, and as she bursts out the bag and the lights go out, it looks like a performance that will emotionally challenge its audience.
But Paper Doll Militia work with incredible precision; almost clinical. With only two people on the cramped stage and minimal staging, they create believable characters through music, speech and impressive aerial acrobatics. They explain and demonstrate the mental and physical pain of egg donation (for donor and receiver), and for anyone in the audience with a similar history, it's probably deeply moving. For everyone else it's more of an education: the plot moves at such a pace that the characters never fully develop, and as such never really demand as much empathy as they deserve.
Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 6.15pm, £12 (£8).