ThEATRE SAARI (ThE ISLAND) tHe Zoo (Venue 124) HHHHH
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.
Until today, 9:35pm.