REVIEW: Mouthpiece

*****

By Isabella Fraser

A strikingly original and mesmerising two-hander, Mouthpiece is both heart wrenching and eloquent in its portrayal of the complexity that women face in their everyday existence. Shown through a series of battles with the clingy inner thoughts that will be familiar to many, this duo use every possible facet of their enviable talents in this show. Using just their voices, their bodies and minimal props – a white bath and single microphone – Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava of Quote Unquote Collective, demonstrate the power that the individual has in portraying their oft-described hopes and fears.

Mouthpiece centres on the premise that their mother has died and the funeral needs to be arranged. Nostbakken and Sadava resonate in bringing forth sounds of mourning as they seamlessly blend together in their performance: from the a cappella opening to speaking whole sections of text simultaneously – a feat much more difficult feat to achieve than it appears – the two are in harmony.

Carefully choreographed movements made in unison with each other, also demonstrate the power of the dual action; only when they separate does the audience realise quite how tangled they had managed to be. These two are energised and engaged with the audience, expressing their grief, anger and fear clearly through the physicality and musicality of their work. However, some much-needed humour is interspersed throughout as the bath is moved from one place to another.

Words are spat out and pulled along; this makes them feel like living, breathing creatures. Movement, sounds and actions are used decisively throughout; every response or change is deliberate, to engage or demonstrate the thought that is being demonstrated on stage. There are no weak moments. Nostbakken and Sadava are powerhouses of performers: the standing ovation at the end is the topping on the cake, a well-deserved accolade to the formidable strength of this piece.

Mouthpiece runs @ 15:30 @ CanadaHub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall until 27/08/17 (not 22 or 25). Running time I hour.

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