What an amazing first few days we have experienced at PULSE. We have watched some brilliant pieces of theatre and day four did not disappoint. Day four was a new experiment for PULSE which was called Free Day in which everything we were watching hadn’t been viewed until their sharing today. The idea is to pay after you have watched the show and then decide how much you think it was worth. We have to say the risk was worth taking as we saw some fantastic pieces of work from different companies.
The day started with One Item Only by Margarita Sidirokastriti which was about a young person going on an adventure and travelling away from home. It was a story that was beautifully told where the use of minimal objects and props told her story. We especially loved how she used simple hand gestures to represent the person wandering their way through different places. This was also supported by simple but effective illustrations that was drawn throughout the piece. This simplistic way of storytelling created an interesting piece to watch where the choice of music beautifully enhanced what was happening on stage. The story itself had the adventurous element that appealed to the younger audience members that were in the room, but it also had the underlying message of a refugee leaving home where as an older audience we were able to connect to.
Rare Productions delivered a fantastic show called Skin A Cat which was about a woman called Alana telling her story about her awkward sexual journey that started with her getting her first period to trying to work out why she can’t lose her virginity. What we loved about this show was how real it felt. It was an honest piece and there was no coverings or metaphors of what she was experiencing. It had the perfect balance of humour as well as the serious and emotional side contributing to the quality this show was at. It was a very well done piece in which Alana was telling her story whilst acting it out with the support of two other actors switching characters helping us to really follow Alana’s story. We both agreed, as well as other audience members we spoke to after, it was a fantastic piece both from the story it portrayed to how it was presented on stage, which were both brilliantly delivered.
We both enjoy dark comedy and the show we watched next was just that. Burning Tails by Eden Harbud was based around puppetry, but it was not the puppet show we were expecting. It was a dark and emotional story of a fox as he experiences a mixture of tragic events. Eden did a fantastic job of making the puppets come to life where as an audience we really connected to them as characters. The humour throughout made us laugh out loud and it was very cleverly done. We also enjoyed the side story of Eden himself performing the show rather than just having the focus fully on the puppets story alone. It was original and a very enjoyable show to watch.
Following this was Action At A Distance by Argonaut Theatre. This was a very powerful performance highlighting some serious and important topics. The story explored a character becoming desperate and obsessive which was brilliantly delivered with conviction. An interesting element of the play was how the man and woman were talking to each other face to face on stage; however, they hadn’t actually meet. This was very effective as they appeared to be talking to each other in real life but as the audience we still understood it was an online conversation.
We love when a PULSE day finishes with a bang and day four certainly did. People You May Know presented Nice Guys looking at toxic masculinity and the modern man identity crisis. The combination of humour and serious subjects created a powerful and interesting show. It was great how the show left such an impact on us. After it had finished it had made us think about what was spoken about, which is the amazing thing about theatre. At certain points it made us feel uneasy due to them addressing subjects that aren’t usually addressed which was very refreshing to see. This show was delivered with great energy and passion. It was a fantastic show that we both loved, the audience interaction was very effective and a brilliant performance by all four of them. What a fantastic end to the first weekend of PULSE.
If you couldn’t make Sundays shows and these shows sound a little bit of what you like, don’t fear as there’s plenty to come! Be sure to check out Oh Yes Oh No on Mon 4 Jun, Quarter Life Crisis and WHITE on Tue 5 Jun as well as Moonfall and Our Carnal Hearts on Sat 9 Jun.