Blue Elephant Theatre
Reviewed – 1st December 2017
“intensely emotional and personal, achieving a rare feeling of intimacy between audience and performer”
Cheeky Chin’s latest production, The Invisible, is a raw, heart-felt one act play that delves into feelings of loneliness and isolation. Written and performed by Yuyu Wang, the show is an extremely personal and intimate one woman, one act play. Documenting the life of ‘The Invisible Character’, it follows her move from China to England, and explores the emotional effect this can have on a person. It incorporates live cameras, video projection, music and movement.
Yuyu Wang took on a huge task in creating the show. The set is incredibly simple, a black box theatre with a giant paper plane on the back wall. The only props are a pile of paper planes, some apples, a projector and a phone. To fill an entire one hour show with just one actress in such a simple setting is extremely challenging, but Wang keeps the audience entertained throughout. She is an incredible actress, her emotion so real and raw.
Some elements of the production are daring, and whilst most of these pay off, some can seem slightly out of place. Sometimes the Invisible Character runs from one side of the stage to the other for minutes on end, and whilst this seems almost mundane to watch, it really helps communicate the feeling of being trapped. It is also a play that is filled with long monologues, which can feel self-indulgent, but certain moments really hit home, especially for those who know the feeling of homesickness and feeling miles away from family and friends.
One particularly resonant scene occurred when the camera was turned on the audience, our image projected on a screen onstage. Suddenly, the play wasn’t just about the character onstage but reflected back onto us, as we were urged to acknowledge each other and treasure every moment we spend with those around us. This was one of many touching moments within the show, helping to create an amazing intimacy between performer and audience.
Overall, The Invisible is a daring piece of theatre, that does succeed in delivering its emotional message, but needs some minor tweaks to improve consistency. It’s intensely emotional and personal, achieving a rare feeling of intimacy between audience and performer.
Reviewed by Charlotte Cox
was at the Blue Elephant Theatre