Walking around the streets and hidden crevices of Edinburgh whilst wearing earphones which play an historical and emotional story, is a fantastic notion. But Blood and Roses, in attempting a concept which has such promise is mildly disappointing.
The actor’s voices are stimulating, engrossing, heart-felt and convincing. The characters feel intimate and exciting and demonstrate the potential power of the voice. This power though, unfortunately, is not exhausted and exploited. Each time the listener begins to feel a connection with a specific character; this opening for compassion is destroyed and undermined by a shifting to an alternative scene. This splicing of scenes means that separate fragments of the story are never given the chance to climax. Although seemingly intentional, it becomes irritating and futile.
Each location that the audience is taken to on their explorative Scottish journey raises high hopes. But these, excluding the last, are immediately anti-climactic. The repeatedly fruitless and unimpressive stop-off sites make the performance drag and feel monotonous.
With such calming, engaging and therapeutic music and voices, the experience would have worked better if it was a shorter and more compact script, and the audience had been put in a dark room on very comfortable seats.
7-27 August, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 @ St George’s West. More info here.