Review: On The Outskirts Of A Large Event at HOME, Manchester

  • The Bare Project presents this new piece of theatre
  • ★★★

When an iceberg arrives at a tropical island, the inhabitants automatically begin to search for a scapegoat for this unlikely visitor.

Exploring themes of memory loss, the environment and blame culture and with a bold technical design, On the Outskirts of a Large Event is the debut touring production for established Sheffield company The Bare Project.

A piece of theatre that utilises cinematic projection, surround sound and spoken word to create something that’s a bit odd and quite confusing.

To try and put this piece of theatre into a genre is quite hard. It shows elements of political theatre, touching on the environment and global warming, but also with hints of comedy, as the news readers update the audience of the issues that surround the town. There’s also elements of storytelling and physical theatre, though these could have been developed more.

Lucian, played by Nicola Blackwell, has suffered severe memory loss and is trying to work out who he is and how he got here. Blackwell’s performance left the audience awkward and nervous to see what Lucian is capable of.

Rose Gray’s character is a confusing one – is she a fan, a figment of Lucian’s memory or mind, or a god-like creature – no one knows. Adding comedy to a quite dark and dreary play, Gray dominates the stage and has the audience eagerly listening to the story she is telling.

The use of projection was very clever, creating the sea on the floor and the trees in the background.

This show is quite a confusing one, with the irony being that they comment on how boring beginning-middle-end stories can be – yet this show was just a bit of a mishmash and you never really knew where you were in the story.

A clever piece of theatre that shows good promise and substance.

On the Outskirts of a Large Event is live at HOME Manchester until Saturday 24th February – book here.