- Gareth K Vile
- 25 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Soundscape and physical theatre becomes uncomfortable
The use of binaural headphones to create an immersive soundtrack is increasingly fashionable: SHINE delves into the interior world of a father who has lost his daughter with a volcanic soundscape, mime and physical theatre to create a show that doesn't quite earn the emotive power that a story about an abducted child musters. Beginning with a scene of family happiness – even though an incongruous big knife becomes part of a duet between husband and wife – the tone quickly shifts to the dark, paranoid and sinister.
Despite the excitement of the binaural sound, SHINE follows a formulaic path into a mind at the end of its tether: psychedelia symbolic sequences in which he is terrorised by a masked figure, the clatter of the typewriter and the ring of a phone, and choreographed conflicts that speak of inner turmoil and a plot that shifts from the abduction to the death of the child. It's bracing enough, but the actors seem to illustrate the sound rather than drive forward the action, and the characterisation of madness is imprecise and impressionistic, rather than drilling down on the specifics.
Nevertheless, there are striking visual images, and a brooding atmosphere that conjures a palpable discomfort at times: themes and details are left hanging and coherence is sacrificed for an immediacy and intensity. Engaging and distracted by turns, SHINE moves gradually towards a theatre of emotional power without landing its narrative.
ZOO Southside, run ended.