Sunday, September 10, 2017

STO Union and Change of Address, 'Trophy': Camera Obscura

This enlightening performance installation puts neglected voices into the city fabric. Photo: Allison O'Connor.


Barnardo Square, Dublin Fringe Festival 
Sep 10-11

My review of Trophy coming up just as soon as I close my eyes ...


In the corner of a white sheer tent, a middle-aged man casts his mind back to a previous life in a different country. Above the hum of the bustling street outside, he gently describes a tragedy from his childhood, a private memory that this enlightening performance installation seems to make part of a wider urban fabric. 

Sarah Conn and Allison O’Connor’s installation for STO Union completes the Canadian strand of the Dublin Fringe under outgoing director Kris Nelson (formerly of Montreal) rather appropriately: by allowing new voices to come forward. Casting storytellers from Change of Address, a collective with players living in direct provision, this coproduction offers rare glimpses by Dublin’s neglected inhabitants. 

From tent to tent we go, listening to people's life-changing events. A young man escapes persecution in Zimbabwe, an overworked lawyer discovers the key to happiness, and an out-of-place Dubliner finds parallels within his family’s history. The transparent fabric of O’Connor’s design allow for revelatory depth of field; the vivid performers, seen against the soft bokeh of a passing city, seem to take their place within it.

But there’s another act of self-exposure at work here, with the production drawing out our own life experiences, mingling them with others. Return after dark and see them light up the city. 


What did everybody else think?


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