Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: Islander at Summerhall

Review: Islander at Summerhall

Far from your average sing-a-long musical, this production weaves new life into the form, layering myth and reality, with a contemporary Scottish folk-inspired score.  Using voices and vocal loops, the company tell a tale which gives a flavour of Scottish island life, resonant with wider current themes of ‘our island’ today.

Eilidh, a young resident of an island with an uncertain future, finds herself questioning all that she holds true when a stranger arrives unexpectedly. The musical explores creation myths, difference, the process of ‘othering’, uncertain futures and relationships.

Kirsty Findlay and Bethany Tennick hold the piece with precision and confidence, embodying convincingly, and often humorously, the voices and gestures of a variety of characters, whilst keeping a tight pace in combining their voices to build the enveloping score. 

Summerhall Roundabout theatre’s womblike nature works well as a setting for a story about creation myths.  The stage direction, through the placement and movement of the duo, creates a fluidity that allows the multiple characters and perspectives to co-exist.  Finn Anderson’s harmonious vocal score effectively sets and alters the pace, moving the story along with compelling momentum.

A Made in Scotland 2019 showcase, this Helen Milne production, conceived and directed by Amy Draper, offers something truly new.

 Islander is on at ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall – Roundabout 10:00 am until the 26th.