Government cuts have forced the closure of the library but four enterprising librarians have broken in to recover an old box of photographs. The box belonged to Rose and it’s her story that the galvanised librarians are seeking to preserve. Dumbshow already have a hat-trick of awards for their previous work in Edinburgh and Electric Dreams, inspired by Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine, combines the gentle sincerity of Poliakoff’s Shooting the Past with the sensationalism of Dan Brown.
Using stills and video projection accompanied by a haunting score from Rollo Clarke, we hear how Rose became the unwitting victim of a notorious brainwashing experiment in her native Canada. Her husband Sebastian, himself a victim of Pinochet’s regime in Chile, helps Rose try to recover her past without realising that their own traumatic stories are simply the early chapters of an unfinished book.
Powerful narrative techniques are bought into play, including genuinely harrowing images and arresting performances from the company, especially Pia de Keyser as Rose and Jack Cole as Sebastian. What begins as a bittersweet love story gathers momentum and even if it does become a tad over-zealous in places, Dumbshow’s talent for storytelling remains its key strength.