Tuesday, July 5

The Separation – Living Roots Festival

The Separation is part of the The Living Record’s ‘Living Roots’ initiative, which commissions and develops grass roots multi-discipline digital art. Even as the country begins to slowly whirr back into life again, the arts in particular are continuing to have to find ways to adapt to a new normal, and I found The Separation to be a prime example of a performance piece that makes best use of its medium to deliver something exciting and different.

Flitting between a documentary-style talking head and the abstract, The Separation uses a single-person narrative to explore the inner turmoil of a young woman caught somewhere between realities. Taking inspiration from films such as The Others, while the piece is less than 20 minutes long it wastes no time in building a tense atmosphere and was suitably eerie – certainly enough to make me shudder more than once even as I watched from the safety of my own sofa. The piece uses binaural recording to create the feeling of quite literally being in the middle of the action which really adds to the discomfort and creepiness. It didn’t always necessarily marry up with the action on screen and I found the narrative a bit lacking, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of having the characters’ voices washing through my head as if they were close enough to me to whisper in my ears. Watching a production alone, online, at home, doesn’t necessarily provide the same experience as a theatre but this attention to detail brings the audience something entirely different and in no way less absorbing.

Living Roots comprises seven different productions including short films and poetry and runs until 17th April. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a taster of something a bit different while supporting up and coming artists – and all from the comfort of your own home. https://thelivingrecord.com/events/living-record-jan-21/feed

Reviewer: Zoe Meeres

Reviewed: 13th April 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★