The Echo Chamber (4 stars)

This article is from 2008.

The Echo Chamber

Underground antics

Part history lesson, part scary story, this atmospheric show from En Masse Theatre is a great way to start your Fringe day. Descending down into the bowels of Edinburgh, you find yourself in one of the many caverns and passageways that run beneath the Old Town.

A brief introduction by our 'tour guide' tells us all about life in Auld Reekie, as Edinburgh was once known, and the horrible fate that awaited many of the occupants of these underground rooms. Cold, damp, unlit quarters that housed doomed prisoners, poor folk with nowhere else to go and bank vaults. Once deep inside, we?re left alone with the 'ghosts' of a family forced to live down in the Echo Chamber while they wait for their luck to improve.

Despite the sinister setting (and be warned, if you're afraid of the dark, this show isn't for you) there's a lot of humour in this site-specific play. And although it's a shame they've fallen back on the cliché of the wicked stepmother, this is still an interesting tale acted with gusto. It's also a great insight into 19th century Edinburgh, a place which, mercifully, you leave behind as you head back to daylight, and modern sanitation, above ground.

Underbelly's Baby Belly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug (not 12), 10.45am, £9--£10 (£6--£7).

The Echo Chamber

  • 4 stars

Journey down into the dark, damp vaults beneath Edinburgh's Old Town, and watch one family cope with life among the ghosts. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.

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