Bright Colours Only has that mysterious lifelike quality that art sometimes achieves when a performer is so good she blurs reality. After leaving the Assembly Rooms, you won’t blink back into real life, but rather have a sense that you experienced something intangibly indistinct from real loss and coping.
Pauline Goldsmith uses animation, interaction, and atmosphere as much as performance to bring her Irish wake to life. “Oh, I’d love curls like that,” she exclaimed over me as I entered, encouraging me and my fellow patrons to take a cup of tea.
“Who needs whisky?” she asks before the show starts. Here, sandwiches and tea are a customary comfort, but whisky is a need.
Animation kicks off the show, careful, abstract images and old photographs making the show feel not fractured and disjointed, but fragmented and eerie like your own memories come to life. Much like a death itself, rather than telling a story from end to end the show is a series of moments, musings and recollections with the three dimensional nature that only Pauline’s familial presence can bring.
Pauline makes you consider what is and isn’t normal during death. In this play, there is no universal experience or truth, just a send-off somehow shared between us all and the hilariously, painfully human ways we all process it.
Words: Emily Hall
Bright Colours Only, Assembly Rooms, Aug 6-26 (not 14), 2.25pm