Binaural soundtracks have become increasingly popular in theatre productions. Recorded with multiple microphones, they recreate a 3D effect and require the audience to wear a headset through which different sounds are transmitted to each ear. Amongst many others at this year’s Fringe, Finnish theatre company Hippana has chosen this device to enhance the intensity of their nail-biting psychological thriller SHINE.
Audiences are invited to sit around a stereotypical household. A woman (Tiia-Mari Mäkinen) is cooking dinner whilst the radio is playing in the background. The disproportionate size of her knife is promptly mellowed in our perception by the arrival of a caring husband (Olivier Leclair), who appears very much in love with her. Next door, their eight-year old daughter is calling for attention, but receives only a short visit by her father, as the couple begin to snuggle and move into the bedroom.
The morning after, the pair wakes up to the tragic discovery that their daughter has disappeared and nobody is able to give information about her whereabouts. The mood darkens and the soundtrack becomes increasingly daunting, with a minimal use of spoken word.
Five months on, the man is consumed by grief. With his mental health rapidly declining, he starts questioning his wife’s involvement in the disappearance of the little girl. The woman looks clingy, overzealous, and might have resorted to an extreme act in order to receive his undivided attention. A shadow of guilt and suspicion creeps into his mind, haunting him in the shape of a ghost that wears a mask of pain. The scene is tense, frightening. Leclair and Mäkinen deliver a strenuous performance, expending every drop of sweat on stage to produce a flawless routine. At times, their combined movement seems to defy time and gravity, as their bodies collide, entangle or repel each other. Their body language speaks volumes and we leave the auditorium suspecting that they haven’t been entirely honest to each other.
Created and Performed by: Olivier Leclair and Tiia-Mari Mäkinen
Producer: Hippana Theatre in association with From Start to Finnish
Box Office: +44 (0)131 226 0000
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/shine-1
Booking Until: 26 August 2019