A man is disturbed to find himself in a place in which everyone his best interests at heart, but from which he is not allowed to leave. This is George (Samuel Keefe), desperate to return home to his newborn daughter. Uniformed officials take his clothes away and he is led to a vast room furnished with subdued, masked individuals. Vanishing Point’s Tomorrow is a spectacular display of masks, physicality and scenography. It’s an enigmatic play which pipettes its message into the audience’s lap. The journey that Tomorrow guides its viewer towards forms a imperative part of the production’s beauty.
Tomorrow has a visceral, deep quality to it, juxtaposing the actors against grotesquerie of the mask, and the actors’ evolving physicality. Kai Fischer’s lighting fractures the textures onstage, shadows enhancing the crevices of the mask. Both within and external to the scene, children are endlessly playing, the threat of snow ever looming. We are at the same time in the liminality of George’s mind and observers commenting on those who must be cared for and those who care.
Textually this is an especially musical play, with a polyphony of voices puzzling over the crossword and making excuses for tomorrow. Mark Melville’s sound design, like Fischer’s lighting, toys with the senses, closing the play with an overpowering murmur before silence. The structure, particularly timings, are slightly shakier but on the whole Tomorrow is a well-balanced production that provides plenty of points for further discussion. Challenging our preconceptions about our personal futures, Tomorrow is a poignant examination of what happens when tomorrow finally comes.
Tomorrow is playing at The Traverse (Venue 15) until 30 August (no performances on 17 or 24) as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information, visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.