Infinity Presented by Nessa Matthews and Eoghan Carrick
What is it?
A story about a lone astronaut told by a woman who is trying to understand the relationship between audience and actor, her relationship to her show and her own deep rooted melancholy.
What's it all about?
Nessa Matthews addresses the audience immediately. She ponders on this action and the acceptance that an audience has when entering a theatre. She wonders where a story begins and at what moment we collectively move into silence and prepare to be entertained. To feel something. Matthew makes reference to her deep love of science-fiction and outer space, and therein lies the launching pad for her story about a lone astronaut undertaking a mission that has never before been accomplished.
The stage is utilised completely as Matthews uses simple strobe and hand held torches as well as a purpose built space pod (that also lights up of its own accord) and creates the emptiness, the darkness of space travel. We witness this astronaut's decline into slight madness as she spends an unknown amount of time alone on the ship. She pushes herself to get to a place no-one has been before and as the show progresses and the importance of her mission increases, her understanding of the things and people she left behind becomes more apparent to her too. Our hero makes a courageous leap into what she suspects to be a wormhole, and we are privy to a cacophony of colour, light and sound, followed by the layers that have built up in this world being peeled away until we are back to the place in which we began.
How did it make me feel?
The many layers of this show are unreal. Matthews and Carrick have such a way with world building and I often forgot I was in a theatre, as I felt so absolutely that I was floating out in the nothingness. The lighting design of this show also needs a special mention as the show's effects were so meticulously timed and created that it is impossible not to be swept up in the magic. The piece was highly emotive and used another clever device in separating the voice of the astronaut to the voice of Matthews. At either end of the show, Matthews addresses the audience in an earnest and vulnerable way, and when she becomes the astronaut she uses a voice over that she mimes along to, creating space between the two personalities and implying that there is separation between them.
Infinity is a very special show. It has appeal for many kinds of audience and Matthew's skill in humanising such an extreme situation is remarkable. The sense of urgency is potent throughout and the circular motion of the piece leaves a heavily satisfying feeling.
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