People of the Eye
Show examining deafness, sound and vision
This article is from 2016.
In our endlessly chattering 24-hour culture, we are constantly bombarded with information overload. Erin Siobhan Hutching's meditation on an unquiet world where deaf and hard of hearing people are marginalised or forced to adapt makes some profound statements and has some hilarious moments, but at times feels episodic and a little messy structurally. It's worth sticking with, though, as it eventually settles into a more measured pace.
Hutching, performing alongside deviser and deaf performer Emily Howlett against a backdrop of family video clips, re-enacts parental frustration at a daughter's inability to communicate. They parody the way the deaf are condescended to by hearing people, before falling into bickering like sisters. A scene with an unwanted Christmas present, where Howlett swears in sign language and Hutching says 'she loved the book' out of politeness, is funny and hugely relatable. The sound veers between video game retro futurism, overwhelming jarring sirens and silence.
It is accessible to hearing and deaf audiences alike, and special mention must go to Samuel Dore whose witty Pac-Man-esque graphics and virtual kitchen projection bring a playful third dimension, breaking not just the fourth wall but a few preconceptions of theatre's limitations along the way.
Northern Stage at Summerhall, until 27 Aug (not 17, 24), 1pm, £11 (£9).