There She Is (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

There She Is

A huge metaphor for alienation

With whale song drifting through the speakers in a temporary theatre at the top of the Royal Mile, Brazilian actress Gabriela Flarys tackles immigration, language, home and isolationism in this one-woman piece of physical theatre. A bit like Eugene Ionesco's absurdist 1959 play Rhinoceros, using the metaphor of people turning into rhinoceroses to explore the rise of pre-war Fascism, There She Is begins with a beached whale on the London underground.

Flarys presents a surreal, poetic take on British multiculturalism, where languages and accents babble together and people struggle to be understood, much less embraced for their differences. A gentle, piped-in 70s song from bossa nova star Antônio Carlos Jobim, 'Carinhosa' follows Flarys's translation of the word; 'It's like cuddling with words or a gesture'.

Her character is frantically trying to reach 'a better place', with less fear and ignorance and no closed frontiers, and she uses a suitcase of blue props (glow in the dark balls, fishnets, an anorak) to tell her nightmarish tale, with occasional moments of tenderness. A euphoric underwater swimming scene where she ripples on the floor is an oasis of calm in the chaos, but the general vibe is of a hurried, uncaring world, with not enough places to escape to.

PQA Venues, until 26 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).

There She Is

  • 3 stars

When a whale beaches on the London Underground, all hell breaks loose, and communication is suddenly cut off. A hilarious and poetical one-woman’s surreal trip through the unintelligible babble of London, where one character becomes many, all with different accents and personal stories - bound together by their sense of…