You Wouldn't Know Him, He Lives in Texas
- Natalya Wells
- 23 August 2011
This article is from 2011.
An innovative concept that needs thinking through
The title of this show refers to the boyfriend of Lizzie, who will, if you buy a ticket, invite you to her party. The purpose of the gathering is to introduce us (her 'friends') to her beloved Ryan, all the way from Austin. But of course, he won't be sitting with us in this Edinburgh kitchen enjoying wine and snacks, he'll be streamed to us via Skype from his own house. Such is the world we live in, where the internet is both a medium for relationships to thrive and a fourth dimension in which performance art can occur.
It's true that the invention of free video phone-calls has changed the notion of long-distance communication - the concept of writing letters to faraway loved ones is the stuff of nostalgia. So Look Left Look Right have landed on an ingenious and contemporary idea. But with this production, we get no sense of the reality of such inter-continental relationships, as everything is contrived to such a degree that it is awkward for us to be taking part.The company (and that of their collaborators Hidden Room in Austin) have gone to great lengths to render this a momentous event: St Andrew's bunting is hung to give the Texans the illusion of Braveheart-style patriotism; a twitter-feed gives the opportunity to ask questions to Lizzie or Ryan. None of this would happen in real life, would it? Unless we missed something, their insistence on audience participation to simulate reality was a hindrance - especially highlighted when the virtual curtain dropped and they took their bows.
Venue disclosed upon ticket purchase, 0844 545 8252, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th Aug only. £15 (£12.50)