Tales from a House of No Windows (2 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Tales from a House of No Windows

Why you definitely shouldn't get stuck in a lift

'Prepare to be bewildered' warns the Fringe programme entry for the show from Alchemy Troupe. Never have truer words been written. In this circular, opaque tale about missing bodies and erotic fixation, the actors from London's Goldsmiths College offer up a typically bamboozling piece of student theatre.

Three individuals - a gentleman (or so we're led to believe), a floozy and a stiff-neck with severe anxiety - find themselves trapped in an apartment block elevator, wondering what happened to the vanished woman who was living in flat 7F. All that remains of her is a stench of fish and rotting animal meat, and the suspicion grows that something terrible has happened. Through a combination of dance, music, song and multimedia projection, the characters are unfolded via their memories, desires and obsessions as they head towards a final confrontation with the missing tenant.

The show has its moments - not least with a sprightly cabaret sex number that's delivered with plenty of oomph - and the rising dread surrounding events is effectively conveyed through a skeletal, darkened set and haunting keyboard accompaniment. But the individual performances are not quite big or expressive enough to render the story with real force and clarity.

Expect to be left feeling dazed and not a little confused.

Laughing Horse @ The Three Sisters, 0131 622 6801, until 29 August (not 20), 3.45pm, free

Tales from a House of No Windows

  • 2 stars

A haunting compendium of original performances. Three chapters intertwine, using live music, movement and multimedia to tell stories ranging from the tragic to the ludicrous. 'Cog-By-Cog': the clock ticks wrong in an experiment, exposing the mechanics of performance and investigating themes of marriage and…

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