EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: ROSE MCGOWAN: PLANET 9, Assembly
Actress, singer and activist Rose McGowan introduces Planet 9 as "not a theatre experience but an art experience". Planet 9 is a place that McGowan created in her mind when she was ten as a coping mechanism, and she invites us all to come on a journey to this planet.
I thought that Planet 9 might be a tough watch. McGowan released her memoir Brave last year, which details her childhood spent in a cult and the emotional and sexual abuse she experienced in Hollywood before leading the #MeToo movement. But it isn't unpleasant in the slightest. Planet 9 is one of the most peaceful pieces of art I've ever experienced.
At the time Brave was released, there was also an accompanying album, and this is what is being performed. Each ethereal track is explained beforehand and McGowan sits crossed-legged on stage, asking the audience to close their eyes while she does so. It's surprisingly relaxing. The music is beautiful and works so well with the projected visuals.
It possibly won't be for everyone but, to be honest, I didn't think meditation was my thing either. You don't need any knowledge of McGowan or her work beforehand (the key points of her book are detailed in a video shown at the beginning), but you might enjoy it more if you are a fan.
Unlike anything else at the Festival, this is a unique and beautiful show that's only intention is to energise the audience and bring a much-needed sense of calm in a chaotic world.