Reykjavík ***

Jonathan Young in Reykjavik

Jonathan Young in Reykjavik. Image courtesy of the EdFringe Media Office

The Bongo Club, 12 – 29 August 2010

Reviewed for the British Theatre Guide

Looking like a cross between polar explorers and scene of crime officers in our gauzy white coveralls, we help Jonathan disinter and analyse his past. Though he feels far enough removed from his past self to refer to him as a distinct character – Yonatan (the Icelandic pronounciation of his name), or simply Y – this is still an intensely, almost painfully personal show.

Reykjavík minutely examines every possible long-term and short-term cause of a single, life-changing outcome: the breakup of Yonatan’s relationship with S, an Icelandic woman he met in Paris, and by extension his life as an expat in Reykjavík. Could immutable destiny be the reason? The inevitable fate of the child to relive the life of the parent? Or one of the countless binary decisions every one of us makes every day?

Though the show is as introspective and self-interrogatory as it sounds, with a resultant tendency towards potentially alienating solipsism, it’s also full of delightful technical innovations. Foggy goggles and coloured lights represent a near miss in a car in near-zero visibility. Several wheeled full-length mirrors create seemingly infinite corridors crowded with possibilities. The whole experience is like studying a fascinating fossil through a microscope. The level of obsession doesn’t seem healthy, and you have to work to understand its relevance to you, but every new angle reveals something else of interest.

Written by Jonathan Young

Crew includes Carolina Valdés and Lucinka Eisler (co-directors), Paul Burgess (set and video design), Katharine Williams (lighting design) and Adrienne Quartly (sound design)

Cast includes Mark Huhnen, Sinikka Kyllönen and Jonathan Young

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