Letters from another Island
Castle Theatre Aberystwyth 22/01/2013
Letters from another Island, a performance by company ‘Almost Human’ gave a new insight into film and performance.
The piece saw 6 different monologues come alive with the background and actor filmed live in separate spaces and then come together on a large screen with the addition of sound effects and a spoken text.
The performance broke down barriers of traditional theatre where most of the interesting things are hidden and known to us as special effects. But the effects of this performance were more than special, they were also insightful. The company never hid the secrets of how they made the piece happen, instead they allowed the audience to embrace curiosity and learn about the way in which multimedia performance is made.
So many times I have watched a show and thought ‘How did they do that?’ (and that is exactly what I asked myself when I walked in and saw the seamless opening scene) but in Letters from another Island you can unfold the mystery and take yourself around the set which you are free to roam.
The performers each had a variety of roles in the piece, switching from sound to acting for the camera, performing monologues to filming the background which was made out of small figurines such as a railway set. The section based in Shrewsbury train station sparked particular memories for me as I often find myself travelling through the station, I must say the monotone drone of the train announcements were uncanny, it was the hints of humour like this that gave the performance real charm.
As stated on the programme ‘What is created is a celebration of the lo-fi, handmade and do-it-yourself as well as a fictional world that has varying proximity to our own.’
I look forward to seeing the future developments of Almost Human as this was a refreshing take on theatre and film.
Laura Fay Thomas
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