Ryan Van Winkle and Dan Gorman: ViewMaster (4 stars)

This article is from 2014


Intimate and charming poetry and music journey away from the bustle of the Fringe

Upstairs in an attic-like room, hidden away in a forgotten corner of Summerhall, poet Ryan Van Winkle and musician Dan Gorman have made a den. At the start, each audience member (this is a show for one person at a time) is given a short questionnaire before being taken into this tent-like structure to sit on cushions on the floor. After studying the answers Van Winkle picks a suitable ‘journey’ for his guest and we’re off on a trip that incorporates poetry, music and vintage slides viewed through a red retro View-Master.

Having someone read poetry to you in this intimate setting feels undeniably special. In ‘Tulip Time’, Van Winkle transports the listener to a place which may be Amsterdam. There is mention of tulips (of course) and canals but more vividly he evokes memories of small everyday items (‘the table for morning, for flowers, for potato’). ViewMaster lasts only 15 minutes, but it’s a delicious quarter of an hour that feels like you’ve slipped into a quiet oasis. Just don’t get too much of a shock when you emerge back into the bustle of the Fringe.

Summerhall, 560 1581, until 24 Aug (not 13, 20), various times, £5 (£4).

Ryan Van Winkle and Dan Gorman: ViewMaster

  • 4 stars

Collaborative, interactive performance piece involving a set of viewmaster slides, some poetry reading and a live soundtrack.