Like You Were Before (4 stars)

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This article is from 2010.

Like You Were Before

Walking in off a dark, rainy Marchmont street to the dimly-lit cinematic wonderland of Alphabet Video after hours, the stage is already set for cosy personal revelation. Debbie Pearson, Canadian emigrée, and former Alphabet employee-turned playwright faces the audience from behind the counter, as, with the candour of a close friend confiding intimacies, she talks us through a time and life she’s left behind.

Pearson left Toronto in 2005, keeping a video record of her last couple of days; loving close-ups of her best friends; her parents, with whom she’d fought the night before, in uncomfortable silence over coffee in the airport. As the video plays out (alongside another, silent installation filmed from a train window, travelling backwards), Pearson stops it occasionally to point out details, help us crack the codes of friendship; and whenever her own voice comes on the speakers she talks along with it, note perfect but at a remove, trying in vain to insert herself back into the past. As a whole, this is a beautiful, accomplished, bittersweet and philosophical work on love, loss and memory.

Alphabet Video, as part of Forest Fringe, www.forestfringe.co.uk, until 21 Aug, 10.30pm, free.

This article is from 2010.

Like You Were Before

  • 4 stars

October 27th, 2005. The temperature in Toronto was 12 degrees celsius. The Canadian dollar was at 80 cents to the American dollar, 85 cents to the Euro, and 52 p to the pound. It was intermittently sunny and cloudy. In the UK it was probably cloudy. The Toronto Argonauts were playing the Hamilton Tigercats at the…

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