I am going to begin this review by being honest; this review is not the truth. This review is an account of one person who sat in the 2nd Row of Pleasance Beside at 1pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It is as real as possible from the perspective of, let’s call them Reviewer A, but it is not the truth. Or at least, it is no more the truth than the impressions of Spectator A behind me.
“Is That really Happening?”
Somewhere, we are told, a plane is falling from the sky. The plane is on fire. You can watch it on television, you can watch it from the ground, but wherever you watch it from the plane is far away. You might ask yourself “Is that really happening?”.
YESYESNONO take us inside that aforementioned falling plane with guest performer ‘Teddy’ (the guest changes every show) to explore what took place whilst in doing so, accepting that we can never know. The crash scenario is played out countless times, each time directed by different cast members playing different roles, using cameras, lights, and a cardboard cut-out to replay the scene. A bizarre series of snapshots is created from the ‘limited information they have’, illustrating the limitations of what we can construct from recorded information. As the disaster reconstructions drift into music, film and numerous other forms, are we getting closer to the truth, or farther away? From reconstructing the crash the company move on to attempting to reconstruct missing passenger ‘Teddy’, with even more unprecedented results.
“imaginatively explorative and demonstrative approach”
YESYESNONO have an imaginatively explorative and demonstrative approach to their devised theatre work. Like a mathematician showing their working, in The Accident Did Not Take Place’ the journey to the ‘truth’ (or lack thereof) is the focus, more interesting than the final destination. The inclusion of a guest artist and live video editing is vital, providing a live and unpredictable element in their almost clinically analytical performance work. The cast performances are almost exclusively as facilitators. The overall result is fascinating to watch and if you feel the prickling of emotion at the swelling of the cellos, you can be sure it was constructed that way. Or can you? YESYESNONO d not seek to ease the post-truth headache of our multimedia lives, but do open up a very interesting conversation about it.
Their work serves to remind us in essence that we are all merely fleshy human packages wrapped up in data, desperate to read each other but with unreliable receptors and insufficient perceptive capabilities. Teddy and the plane are lost from the map and can never be fully reconstructed, much like this performance in my limited words.
Image Credit: otherrichard