[author-post-rating] (2/5 Stars)
From Where I’m Standing gives a complex time-lapsed view of family relationships on the fringes of modern terrorism. In a Mumbai embassy, a bomb is detonated. The blast wave engulfs the stage, one character is picked up in the maw of the eruption and time suddenly stops. The frozen figure caught on the crest of the explosion is the suspect of the crime. From that motionless moment the plot begins to quantum leap through time and space. 1997, the eve of Labour’s election, a formative year in his teenage life. 2028, following his grown daughter in a future where social media has reached complete saturation point and human interaction becomes the trendy new novelty.
The convoluted chronology is an interesting way to tackle the themes of the piece, namely causality and communication. However in practice this intricate technique sends the audience rebounding randomly off a host of questionably significant plot points. Navigating the turbulent timelines induces an aggressive time travel headache.
The characters multi-roleing is impressive at first but as the play begins to jack-knife faster and faster between past and future events they begin to blur together. The increased velocity is clearly to build up a head of steam towards the explosive finale. However with an audience which is barely clinging on to this quantum runaway train any attempt at a dramatic crescendo is lost as we’re left far behind in a baffled cloud of dust.
Between the iPad mittens modelled by the actors and the responsive digital stage design in the play’s near future, the performance is full of fast and frenetic visuals. These elements give the production a fluid quality that regrettably only serves to exacerbate the complexity of the plot.
A confounding countdown of a play that implodes in on itself under the pressure of its own breakneck pace, From Where I’m Standing goes out with a whimper not a bang.
From Where I’m Standing played at Underbelly Cowgate as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information please see to the Edinburgh Fringe Website.