Review: Taiwan Season, Summerhall
3.0Overall Score
Listen to an audio recording of the review here.

Taiwan Season offers a variety of abstract and unusual collections. Each section brings something entirely new to the table. Taiwan Season collaborated on four projects, ai-sa-sa, Fighters, The back of Beyond and Touchdown. Most of them are accompanied by music or the odd voice over and vocal aid. These are entirely visual theatrical performances with each touching on one idea that branches out into the bodies of the performers. All shows were completely unique.

ai-sa-sa was performed by Ching-Han Yang, Liaucu Tapurakac, Tzu-En Meng and Sheng-Hsiang Chiang. This was a colourful, vibrant and quirky exploration of love using apples as a metaphor. The quartet work in unison together and keep the performance upbeat. There is a section of movement which focuses on a chair dance and this captures the love/hate relationship between the characters. The movement in this was clever and authentic.

Fighters is another absurd fast-paced physical theatre and dance piece. The cinematography by Wu Hsaio-Lu is very dramatic and unlike anything I had ever seen before. Again colours and bold movements make this one interesting to watch. I found the piece to have endless meanings which can be down to your own interpretation.

The back of beyond and touchdown are longer performances. For me, these are slower paced and at times the ability to follow the action along with any music or vocal additions can be a little tricky. Moments of intelligent and moving decisions, the overall understanding of the pieces became slightly lost when a multitude of things were all placed in one setting. This would have been easier with a more simplistic overall concept, with the visuals not being overtaken by text. However, I cannot fault the sheer brilliance of the physical attributes and visuals, these were utterly superb.

Overall, I would say that Taiwan Season offers an intellectual and metaphysical view into the world of theatre. The music and physical theatre style of the screenings make them open-ended and different. If you’re looking for something new to try (though the calibre varies from piece to piece), I think Taiwan Season is a lovely option.

Taiwan Season is playing Summerhall until 29 August 2021. For more information and tickets, see Summerhall online.