A Walk at the Edge of the World (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

A Walk at the Edge of the World

A restrained walk and lecture on memory and power at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Part mindfulness meditation, part painful personal recollection, Edinburgh-based theatre company Magnetic North’s lecture-with-walk is a thoughtful, slow-moving, ultimately quite moving exploration of solitude, freedom and power. He’s just recovered from a hip operation so won’t be able to walk very quickly, solo performer Ian Cameron tells us before leading us on a silent stroll from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, down to the Water of Leith and back the other side.

We should take in the sights, sounds and smells of our surroundings on the way, he advises us, before beginning his lecture by explaining the heightened awareness of his own existence that those senses brought him on his own walks – and the sense of liberation he gained from stepping away from the marked paths.

The context – his own constrained, pleasure-less upbringing with devoutly Christian parents – soon becomes clear, and although he branches away from the main route to bring in underwater villages and mad yachtsmen, it’s his memories that he unavoidably returns to.

Nicholas Bone’s quietly poetic text is a study in restraint, and Cameron’s delivery is appropriately steadfast. It might be enigmatic at times, and opaque at others, but it’s a production that dares to say difficult things quietly.

Summerhall @ the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 0845 874 3001, until 24 Aug (not 7, 11, 18), £12 (£8).

A Walk at the Edge of the World

  • 4 stars

A performance inspired by the art of walking, which involves the whole audience going for a walk together.