Trying to condense my feelings about Electrolyte is like trying to keep a lid on a pan of boiling water. The bubbles keep popping to the surface and much as I try to keep the lid on, they are spilling over, threatening to push it off entirely.

It’s loud. It’s raw. It’s tough. It’s vulnerable. It’s in-your-face. It’s pressingly immediate. It’s a heart-in-your-mouth, edge-of-your-seat experience of a show. It’s not just a watch; it’s an experience.

It’s not just a watch; it’s an experience.

“We share a bond that goes beyond any physical means”, Jess belts into the microphone. She is referring to stardust, the stuff that holds us altogether. Within moments of the band starting up… (“Are we ready?” She asks, in place of the usual thumbs up to the tech at the back of the theatre) the faces looking in on the small stage are rapt, and many are already bopping, grinning, eager and ready to join Electrolyte on the ride of their lives.

To say too much about it would be to do the magic of its impact a disservice, but safe to say I have been initiated into the world of gig theatre with a bang.

I have been initiated into the world of gig theatre with a bang.

Each actor/band member plays a role as well as an instrument, and the harmony between the band members keeps the music as well as the story rolling. Harmonious is the word I would use to describe their relationship, and it is as essential to the plot as it is to any band worth listening to, but the music is frequently intentionally disharmonious, as alarm clocks, door buzzers and police sirens are brought to loud and illustrious life by bursts of screaming guitar and electric beats.

The performances are energetic, explosive and astonishing. When they drop away to an eerie quiet, it shows just how wrapped up we were in the emotion translated by their strumming, their blowing, their words.

The lighting design is our guide to day and night as the pace doesn’t let up, there are no set changes. 360 degree lights in the Pleasance Dome space create eerie sunrises, blue moods, and the kind of midnight raves that have the audiences itching to get out of their seats and get those hands high above their heads. I strongly feel this interactive quality is something that could be further built into the show as it develops. When we are invited to participate, there is a slight uncertainty about our initiation. With a little more encouragement, Wildcard could have a full-on rave on their hands!

Wildcard could have a full-on rave on their hands!

It’s clear to see how strongly the Electrolyte’s captive audience relate to the emotionally intense material, during the show itself but also on exit. If you have someone in your life who has helped you through a tough time, drop them a text after the show and let them know – I know I will, and I don’t see how you could fail to be compelled to.

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