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Transmission review at Assembly George Square, Edinburgh – ‘tosses away an intriguing theme’

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The live component of Transmission is apparently only the tip of the iceberg of a ‘city-scale, augmented reality performance’ including up to 30 downloadable scenes, site-specific podcasts and a £10 launch party at a local nightclub. But if time-poor Edinburgh audiences are going to be tempted to delve further, this eye-wateringly ambitious project will have to do a lot better than the piddling 35-minute ‘mission briefing’ that’s been tossed together.

A sort of future-set TED talk on Earth’s first interstellar mission to the distant Proxima B, whose signals have pushed a planetary coalition into making a leap into the unknown, it’s intriguing enough for a time, until it becomes clear that there is literally nothing more coming. That this is as good as it gets.

There are no characters to care about. No attempt to make the briefing theatrical or to complicate the scenario in any way. The cast are extremely shaky on their lines, which would be forgivable if the show wasn’t running a good 25 minutes shorter than advertised anyway. This isn’t a show at all, really, it’s a trailer. And a paltry one at that.

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A short, sloppy trailer for a series of podcasts and a party, that tosses away an intriguing theme