Light @ Pleasance Dome

Review by Christine Lawler | 15 Aug 2014
  • Light @ Pleasance Dome

Premiering at Edinburgh Fringe Festival is Light from Theatre Ad Infinitum. A truly amazing, visually stunning performance of love and betrayal, Light is set in an ultimate Orwellian surveillance state in the distant future, inspired by Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations of 2013.

The performance takes place in total darkness and with immense intelligence tells the story of a future society where technology is as integral to life as oxygen. The protagonist finds himself torn between his powerful father running the surveillance company and his rebel mother who is trying to destroy the horror of the current world, where the company infiltrate the minds of others to access their dreams and memories with a warped vision of cleansing humanity of crime and violence.

Despite the complexities within the story and lack of any spoken text or conventional acting, it is very easy to follow the narrative which is rich in heart, wit and humour. There are no props other than what is used to create the different forms of lighting, which appear almost from nowhere, with performers merely using hand and body movements to indicate what it is they are doing. The mind-scape moments in particular where they enter the mind of another are horrifyingly nightmarish, brilliantly tapping into images and sensations of terror, under darkness and flashes of ominous red lighting.

On occasion, text appears on a screen revealing a ‘mind-thought’ that a character has received however other than that the whole story is portrayed with light, physical acting and sound. The speed at which the cast move between varyingly lit scenes sandwiched between flashes of darkness is incredible, and with clever light trickery and exquisite physicality from performers immense speed and fluidity is created. The exceptional sound and music used throughout adds atmosphere and intensity to proceedings.

It is no wonder that Light has been ten years in the making, the precision and incredible ability required by everyone involved is inconceivable to those not in the business. Intelligence, skill and dedication to create something so visually powerful as well as providing a genuinely moving, full-bodied storyline without losing any of the essence necessary to make both work is evidently in abundance from this company. The only question is, how can they possibly create a show more epic than this?

Light, Pleasance Dome, until 25 Aug (except 11, 18) 5.15pm, various prices