What Remains, Traverse @ University Medical School, Edinburgh
Tuesday 09 August 2011
The Scottish site-specific pioneers Grid Iron have moved into Edinburgh University's magnificent medical school, specifically the anatomy department, for a creepy show about music, medicine and madness. The smell of death, or at least preserving fluid, is in the air and we are greeted with a rendition of the magnum opus of Gilbert K Prendergast (composer/ performer David Paul Jones), on a baby grand in the echoing entrance hall.
We are split into classes and led around rooms in which it becomes clear that Mr Prendergast is a piano teacher with a difference. There are bodies in the closet, bloodstains on the floor and eyeballs everywhere – not to mention the true horror of an interactive arpeggio lesson.
There are some interesting ideas at play here – the links between bodily and musical perfection and (im)permanence, obsession and Oedipus – but it's too thin and an eerie start is lost in hysteria. The installations are beautifully detailed and the setting is stunning but the non-musical live action is limited to spooky voiceovers, garment-rending and quite a lot of heavy breathing. As so often in site-specific theatre, the site's the star, to the detriment of everything else. Punchdrunk lite.
To 28 August (0131 228 1404)
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