I Feel You Apart From Me – Dublin Fringe Festival – Review
Performances: 11–26 September – Starts at 10am with messages sent across the day – €5
One of the unexpected side effects of the pandemic is that Theatre companies had to find a variety of new formats for their work. The most obvious of these is the online stream but we have also had a number of productions over interactive group Zoom calls and even one to one experiences between the actor and the audience. This production was something new to me at least.
This production takes the form of a one-sided Whatsapp conversation between a young woman and her beloved. Once you’ve signed up to the production, you will receive a number of voice notes and images over the course of the day. The first arrived a little after 10am in the morning and the last just before 9pm. Some arrive in spurts of three or four together and then hours pass until the next arrives. The longest voice note was just over six minutes and the shortest a mere 4 seconds! You’re recommended to listen to them on headphones for a more intense experience.
The voice notes tell you the details of their relationship. We hear how the couple first met at Glastonbury in 2013, where one dressed as a cowboy and the other as an Indian. As she explains, these were the days before we knew about cultural appropriation. There are other details of their lives together and how they slowly drifted apart, both physically and mentally.
The voice notes arrive to you over the course of the day, like a friend having a private crisis while you listen on, unable to help. Sometimes they arrive while you’re busy with other things and you listen back when you have a quiet moment. At other times, you’re waiting for your phone to buzz for the next instalment. While the story doesn’t develop as you might have hoped, it does give you an insight into the mind of the protagonist and the story is told in a novel format. For those of you who aren’t ready to brave the reduced capacity theatres, there are other ways to experience new work from theatre companies. The Fringe has a full section of such novel and interesting online experiences. They’re listed on the Audio Experience section of the Fringe Festival website.