Alma Mater ‘mesmerising’ **** review
Aug 2011 06

Informed Edinburgh: Theatre Review by Charlie Galbraith

6 August 2011

Alma Mater **** (four stars)

Fish and Game have produced an utterly unique theatrical experience with Alma Mater.  It is a wonderfully innovative use of space and technology that lingers in the mind long after its 20-minute duration is over.

However, before you go and see it, be warned; it is not a simple piece of narrative theatre.  There are no actors, no other audience members; there is just you, an iPad, and an empty room.  It is experimental, challenging, occasionally baffling – but above all, it is mesmerising.

The iPad you are given plays a short film.  The interaction of this film and the space is at the heart of the piece.  The iPad acts as a hand-held lens through which you view the space you inhabit.  The film imbues the space with meaning and tone, adding layer upon layer of colour to the blank canvas of the room.  This device is incredibly effective.  You are drawn further and further in, until your physical reality becomes superseded by that of the film.  The solitude of the experience is important in this process, producing a sense of intimacy, as if you have been invited to sit in on someone else’s dream.

This will not be for everyone.  But, if you are of an open mind and are willing to try something different, you will not be disappointed.  It is intensely thought-provoking, and admirable in its originality.

5th-29th August 2011, shows run every 10 minutes 11:00-18:50, St George’s West, £5

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