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Pathetic Fallacy review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘ecologically sound but fragmented’

Mark Chavez (guest performer) in Pathetic Fallacy at Summerhall, Edinburgh. Photo: Sophia Wolfe
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This new piece from award-winning Canadian company the Chop takes audience participation to new heights. For ecological reasons, Anita is reducing her carbon footprint by not attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year. In her place, a random performer who is already in Edinburgh is chosen each day to present Pathetic Fallacy.

The title refers to the attribution of human feeling and responses to inanimate things, such as the weather. Vancouver based director Anita Rochon has always been obsessed by the weather and her mockumentary style presentation offers details on the naming of hurricanes, the weather as depicted in art and the evolution of 1980s pop duo The Weather Girls.

The structure of the show is suggested by modern weather bulletins on television. The guest artist is instructed by headphones and video, while filmed against a green screen. This is then shown on another large screen including images and interaction with Anita’s pre-recorded footage.

It’s a strangely schizophrenic experience and while it makes several important points about climate change and global overpopulation, the gimmick wears thin fairly quickly. Rochon’s dry comic style is fun and informative but much of the success of this show relies on the wit and agility of each visiting artist.


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Ecologically sound but fragmented entertainment that soon wears thin