Landscape II: a room with a view

A war photographer retreats from the cacophony of trauma in Melanie Wilson’s chilly new work.

 

Landscape II

The Lir, Dublin

***

While reeling from a traumatic event in a distant land, a war photographer takes refuge in an English cottage belonging to her family. The world is full of voices, she tells us, and here she might escape them. In this elegant but chilly performance piece by Melanie Wilson, those voices find Vivian, whether they be the “shrieks” of her blood, the discovery of her great, great grandmother’s letters from 1899, or the troubling call of her conscience.

Delivering her fractured narrative over a delicately fragmenting sound design and muted film projections of the eerily tranquil countryside, Wilson may be seeking a theatrical correspondence with the distancing effects of photography and ancient letters. But her performance is somehow more isolating. As writer, performer, director, designer, sound designer (and even operator), Wilson is so immersed in technique that, allied with the dreamy dispassion of her voice, she seems almost imprisoned. Whereas audiences have previously been directly involved in her work, here we are nowhere, and although the design is coldly impressive the only real involvement comes in the form of a mystery that is abruptly solved. How might it have looked in portrait?

Until Sep 21