Electrolyte is an example of the simple yet uncompromising power of the arts. The way a piece of theatre can move you to tears within an hour of sitting down, make you see the true fragility and impermanence of life and question everything you’ve ever believed.
This show of beat poetry combined with music is performed by no more than six young performers. The stage is set up like the set of a five-piece band. From the right, there is a base player, keyboard, DJ set, drums and a guitar.
As the ‘gig’ commences, the group perfectly capture the vivacious recklessness of working-class youth in the city of Leeds: drugs, music and fags. Jess- the central performer- has had a hard life, and surrounded by a close group of friends she battles with her inner demons, when suddenly, her mother comes back into her life…
Jess is exquisite as she uses fluidly descriptive and lucid language to carry the audience along on this journey. Her energy is exhausting to watch as the narrative progresses and she winds tighter and tighter struggling for control. Similarly, guitarist and singer, Allie, is harmoniously divine as her voice washes over the audience, managing to slow down time and send chills up my spine. This was truly an immersive piece of theatre.
The music and lighting elevate the atmosphere of the performance and enhance the story’s power without being overly dominant. As the performers dance wildly, flashing lights create a powerful visual effect as we see flickering and contorted bodies on stage, adding to the frenzied sense of chaos and a loss of control.
This 70 minutes of explosive theatre are full of energy as the performers play instruments, dance, speak and sing. The message is one that acknowledges the pain in life but seeks to find the light. Our time on earth is so irrelevant and one day we will cease to exist, but we can find meaning in our connection with each other. All I can say is that I was left in tears and with a sense of powerful hope. This show has definitely encouraged me to explore more gig-theatre in the future.
Electrolyte is on at the Queen Dome @ 17:30. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the EdFringe website.