Electrolyte review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘energetic electronica-filled gig theatre’
This really is gig theatre. Supported by the Watermill Theatre and Theatr Clwyd, Wildcard – the company behind Erica Murray’s brilliant black comedy The Cat’s Mother – has also brought up a new show that’s thoroughly rooted in live music: loud, liberating, danceable electronica.
James Meteyard’s Electrolyte follows Jessie, a Yorkshire girl who’s grown tired of snorting coke and dancing the night away on the streets of Leeds, on a pulsating, panicked journey south. She’s apparently searching for her mother and for a world that’s less resigned, but as Meteyard’s richly poetic story unfolds, it becomes clear that Jessie isn’t a reliable narrator. At all.
Donnacadh O’Briain’s exuberant production plays out on a stage littered with instruments and the cast sit around playing guitars, keyboards, drums and synthesisers. They perform the play – and Maimuna Memon’s throbbing score – with a likeable, knockabout glee, ad libbing friendly insults at each other throughout.
Olivia Sweeney supplies a riveting, reeling central performance as Jessie.
There’s a structural looseness to Meteyard’s writing that prevents the show’s climax from being as impactful as it might be, but it still packs a pretty hard punch, brutally and beautifully exploring the psychological trauma of grief.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.