Edinburgh Festival
Click Here for More Articles on Edinburgh Festival

EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: THE NORTH! THE NORTH!, Summerhall

EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: THE NORTH! THE NORTH!, Summerhall

EDINBURGH 2017 - BWW Review: THE NORTH! THE NORTH!, SummerhallIn the 1980s, the era of Thatcher, managed decline and "the enemy within", a crack formed between the northern and southern parts of England, splitting them apart physically as well as socially. This is the backdrop to The North! The North!, written and performed by Christopher Harrisson, a twisted dark fantasy of a young man's homecoming to the far side of that crack to avenge his mother's death.

It's a tale of identity and destiny, where he is the prophesised son who can free the North from the grasp of an evil Prince. The show alludes to the frequent conflict of young northerners, drawn from home by the bright lights (and jobs) of the big southern city, but always tied to their homeland. Along the way however, we have people splitting in two, strange eggs being vomited up, and a man with a penchant for self-sacrifice being carried around in a hold-all.

The dim lighting (by Zoe Spurr) allows Harrisson to cast huge shadows on the walls of the grungy old Demonstration Room at Summerhall, all adding to the gothic myth feel of the show. Rebecca Wood's production design works beautifully to create this strange, surreal world. There is excellent use of digital projections, placing images and animations on to draped semi-transparent tarpaulins, flexible old furniture and even on to Harrisson himself.

Indeed, it is Harrisson who draws it all together with his performance, demonstrating great fluid physicality throughout. He has bags of northern charm, backed up with some of the show's witty lines (a personal favourite - "I would be a Buddhist, but I like pies too much"). There is a moment of pure magic when he tells the story of his mother's life through beautiful puppetry with a paper tissue, drawing the cavernous venue down to pinpoint focus on something so tiny and fragile.

Totally bizarre but effectively realised, The North! The North! is a surreal, captivating, gothic fantasy, suggesting Christopher Harrisson is definitely one to watch.

The North! The North! runs until August 27 at 5.50pm.

Photo by Jack Offord.

Related Articles

From This Author Amy Hanson

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram