Wyrd begins before you’re aware of it, drawing you into the world of the play even as you wait to be let into the space. Energetic young company ImmerCity weaves a tale of brutal murder, shot through with just enough of Edinburgh’s commonly accepted history to justify the “site-specific” label. Newlywed Joseph is fascinated by the untimely death of his grandfather and wants to discover the reason before the birth of his first child. They call in three mediums to conduct a séance, in which the audience takes part.
The play is at its best when it is wordless, the three mediums clicking and shushing at each other. They shuffle around in near-darkness, performing strange little rituals over audience members, then settle in to the task of summoning spirits. As things appear to get out of control, the tension is wracked up by invested performances and clever use of sound.
The six actors make a strong ensemble, but it might have been interesting to see a little more of the back story between the newlyweds and their best friend. It’s not entirely clear how they all feel about Joseph’s interest in his grandfather’s murder or his decision to hold a séance, and it seems a little far-fetched that in this day and age a young man would do such a thing without provoking comment from the loved ones involved. Even if neither of them has strong views on the supernatural, it seems likely that they would think Joseph’s behaviour a bit obsessive. The actors seem more than capable of handling a little more depth than the writing currently gives them, but it’s a strong enough concept and execution that the show gets away with a few little niggles.
Wyrd is on at C Nova until 26 August (not 12th) at 14.00 and 19.00. Running time one hour and ten minutes.