ThE­ATRE SAARI (ThE IS­LAND) tHe Zoo (Venue 124) HHHHH

The Scotsman - - Fringereviews Hotshow -

IN The mid­dle of the stage, a grey peb­ble sits alone at the bot­tom of a glass fish tank. The cries of seabirds fill the air. An an­gry woman starts shout­ing at them in Ja­panese.

Then an­other woman starts sing­ing folk­songs in Fin­nish. If Beavis and But­thead were made to sit through this pro­duc­tion from helsinki’s Myl­lyteat­teri com­pany, they would spend most of the time wear­ing the hor­ri­fied, un­com­pre­hend­ing ex­pres­sions they usu­ally re­serve for the mu­sic of Michael Bolton.

how­ever, if you’re will­ing to let your mind wan­der and fill in some of the blanks in what must surely be the most enig­matic pro­duc­tion on this year’s Fringe, you’ll find Saari has a sur­pris­ing amount to say about soli­tude, com­pan­ion­ship and what it means to be hu­man.

Yuko Takeda, speak­ing mostly in Ja­panese, and Kaisa Niemi, speak­ing mostly in Fin­nish, are two women who both seem to have trav­elled to the same re­mote is­land in search of soli­tude. At first they are dis­trust­ful of each other and try to keep to them­selves, but grad­u­ally a bond forms be­tween them as they weather storms to­gether and tell sto­ries.

Un­less you speak Fin­nish, Ja­panese and english you won’t have a clue what’s go­ing on here for about 75 per cent of the time but, if you’re pa­tient, you’ll find your mind does some in­ter­est­ing things as it tries to make sense of it all.

ROGER COX

Un­til to­day, 9:35pm.

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