Saturday, 4 April 2015
Brink @ Royal Exchange Studio, 26.03.15
Brink, the latest production by the Royal Exchange's Young Company, marks Associate Director Matthew Xia's directorial debut for the theatre. An ambitious production, the company worked together with Youth Director Matt Hassall and poet and Exchange associated artist Jackie Kay to explore the idea of being “on the brink” using spoken word, song, dialogue, beatboxing, physical theatre and most importantly, the experiences of the performers. What is initially striking about the production is its design - the Studio has been truly transformed into an other worldly, futuristic place, with a raised platform divided into grids of light (reminiscent of Tron), creating lots of small edges the actors can reach. These perhaps symbolise the "brinks", both big and small, we encounter throughout our lives. As the show progresses lighting design and staging are consistently strong, with doors suddenly appearing in the set and the cast crawling into other worlds, (or perhaps the "real world") which the audience has no sense of previously.