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  • REVIEW | Brain Matter(s) | Edinburgh Fringe

REVIEW | Brain Matter(s) | Edinburgh Fringe

From the second we are born, to the moment we die, our brain is constantly whirring around, making choices and asking questions. Fen’Harel Theatre have taken that idea, and created a stunning piece of theatre that combines physical theatre, contemporary dance and an hour long duologue.

Experimenting with how we think, Liz Blake takes on the role of the Left Brain, and Danny Boardman plays the Right Brain. They open the piece as one, the lights are dim and they are clinging to one another as they move freely around the stage, displaying their connection through movement. Suddenly they are hit with brightness, and in that moment they are born.

The piece itself follows the journey of Evelyn, from when she leaves the womb and explores the trials and tribulations of life. Her left and right brain being the core of her thoughts as she becomes a woman. From her first driving lesson, to her experience of falling in love, losing her virginity and being heartbroken. It is a real eye-opener to how the decisions you make growing up affect your overall life.

The script is highly contemporary, and the frequent interjection of humour makes it feel real and entirely relatable. As Evelyn reaches different stages in her life, the arguments between both sides of the brain are striking. There is a particular scene in which Evelyn’s mother has died, and whilst the left side of her brain is repeatedly continuing on with her day, the right side is screaming out for help. This all leads up to them clashing, causing her to have a mental breakdown.

Throughout the performance, there is an extended metaphor of a fire. They consistently refer to “keeping the flame alive”. Ending with the scene where she is about to pass, the conversation between each side of the brain is incredibly thought-provoking, as she questions “but I have lit my fire, what else can I do?”

Brain matters is simplistically clever; it is an entrancing performance that is beautifully funny, heart-breaking and poignant.

***** 5 Stars

All reviews also appear on Hiskind

Tickets can be found here