Fairytale imagery helps forge a powerful fable
This article is from 2016.
In this one-woman show, writer / performer Gaël Le Cornec and director Ben Samuels draw upon a rich palette of sinister fairytale imagery and stark visuals to forge a powerful fable of a young refugee's experience. The Other is bold, heartfelt, and necessary. It filters the horrors of war, homelessness, and the indignity endured by refugees through the eyes of a child, whose overwhelmed imagination intervenes to fill the gaps in her harrowing journey. Inspired by the real stories of refugees, Le Cornec commits to her cause of raising awareness for those who have been denied safety and imprisoned in bureaucracy.
The use of shadow-play and mask-work creates arresting imagery, although The Other risks sensory overload, with overpowering soundscapes and strobing lights upstaging the quiet storytelling power of Le Cornec herself.
Even visual and dramatic gems like the macabre and contorted marching of a pumpkin-headed soldier, and a raw outburst of energy from the child as she struggles against an unlikely assailant, are swamped by the sound and light.
Yet at its heart, this is a captivating solo performance, a striking mixture of theatrical languages, and a moving testament to a history written on the body.
Institut Français d'Ecosse, until 28 Aug, 2:00pm, £10 (£8).