The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland
Modernist experiment by theare company Ridiculusmus splits Edinburgh Festival Fringe audience
This article is from 2014.
This piece, by acclaimed theatre company Ridiculusmus, employs a theatrical form which will recalls the heyday of Dadaism, the avant-garde and absurdist art movement of the early twentieth century which inspired much of the last century's performance and sound art experiments.
The audience are ushered to two seating areas at opposite sides of the room. The stage, which sits between the divided audience, is itself divided by a series of windows with closed blinds and a door connecting the two performance areas.
The audiences (which switch sides halfway through) watch interconnecting plays in medical and domestic settings. The bleeding of the two simultaneous plays into one another reflects not the common misconception that schizophrenia is a condition of split personality, but rather the innovative psychotherapy techniques which are credited with having wiped out the condition in the titular region of northern Finland.
The piece is nicely acted and wryly funny, at times. However, it is also, paradoxically, too chaotic and too clinical to make the most of its avant-garde form.
Summerhall, 560 1581, until 24 Aug (not 18), noon, £14 (£12).