Review: Borderline Vultures

The Weekender 2012

The performance explores the art of communication through ‘immersive and risk-taking theatre’ and ultimately by removing a common language.

The performance took place in a secret abandoned warehouse where we were each given a number and a white lab coat. From then on the rest of the night became a chaotic blur as we were quickly separated and placed individually in rooms. We were quickly greeted by various ‘workers’ who spoke a mixture of unrecognisable languages and we were put to work – obviously any communication proved very difficult! As a result audience members were left to roam confused, intrigued by the huge warehouse and its vibrant workers. I must applaud the creative team who built the ‘set’ as each room was full of fascinating – bizarre objects from old projector films to code breaking puzzles with disturbing messages. It was literally like walking through a fascinating horror!

The atmosphere at times was sinister and always curious with dim lighting, manic sounds of alarms and machinery and the frantic and random interactions with the performers. I particularly enjoyed the single one on one interaction between performer and audience member. The audience clearly enjoyed their active and interactive roles as gossip soon spread of codes and secret messages and possible danger found in the various rooms. And the performers expertly created a sense of urgency and frustration through their struggles to communicate.

However after the build up of a deliciously exciting atmosphere, the performance fell a little flat. It felt like there was a moment of chaos and suddenly the workers were ‘free’ and the performance had ended. The audience were left questioning and slightly frustrated- although the key concept of the performance was to explore the struggles of communication, it was almost cruel to create such an amazing atmosphere and such potential for a gripping storyline and yet provide no action or answers. However I would still put Borderline Vultures as a ‘must see.’

Tags: installation performance, manchester weekender, review, Theatre

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