Review: Pathetic Fallacy, Summerhall Canada Hub

Obscure at times but incredibly thought-provoking, Pathetic Fallacy illustrates how weather permeates through every aspect of our lives from the physical and religious to its depictions in art, literature in music. 

Brought to Summerhall’s Canada Hub by the makers of the award-winning ‘How to Disappear Completely’, Pathetic Fallacy explores the attribution of human feelings and responses to inanimate things like the weather. 

Unable to attend the show for personal reasons, Anita Rochon the writer and protagonist of Pathetic Fallacy asks a different performer from the Edinburgh Festival to take on her role. Standing in front of a green screen and receiving instructions on how to perform the show from monitors at the front of the stage, the actor must interpret these directions as the show unfolds behind them. 

The piece is well written and purposefully chaotic, with our increasingly unpredictable weather cleverly illustrated through the hyperactive green screen and actor’s often hilarious attempts to keep up with the directions. 

Stepping in for this performance, British comedian Nish Kumar provided authentic interactions with the green screen bringing a light-hearted feel to the performance. At times, due to the improvised nature of the show, the timing was a little off as Kumar struggled to carry out prescribed directions in the allotted pauses, resulting in some dialogue getting lost. Once he found his rhythm, his reactions and oneliners were genuine and very entertaining. 

The concept of having local actors put on the show to minimise the carbon impact of Anita flying to the UK is interesting as it raises the environmental implications of the Edinburgh festival itself, leaving the audience with an increased awareness of their own impact on the planet. 

Pathetic Fallacy, Summerhall Canada Hub 5 pm Aug 6-11, 13-18, 20-25

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