Cold Blood at The King’s Theatre is the first of my Edinburgh International Festival reviews for this year, and I have to admit, the one which I was most uncertain about as on paper the idea of dancers using only their fingers in performance did seem a “limited concept”, particularly for a performance running over some 75 minutes in length. Also, for some reason, I could not get that old television advert for “Yellow Pages” out of my head with its “Let your fingers do the walking” voice over prior to the performance.
Uncertainties and old television adverts were however swiftly put to the back of my mind within the first few minutes of this multi-performance as “Cold Blood” started to unfold, and a work of originality and brilliance took over the King’s Theatre stage.
Cold Blood is the second work from this arts/technical collective company - Kiss & Cry Collective …the first being the eponymously named “Kiss and Cry” Whereas the first project took love as it’s theme, “Cold Blood” takes over 7 film/performance mini features 7 very different deaths, and each feature has its own carefully constructed miniature set and world brought to life my a combination of performance and technical skills. Seven deaths performed live and on screen out of a very long lists of possible deaths from the unextected, to the macarbre, to the simply absurd.
Brussels-born dancer and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey and Belgian film maker and playwright Jaco Van Dormael have with the use of dance performers, film, technology, miniature sets, special effects, muisic and story created a wonderland of visuals both on stage and on-screen that somehow defy description in a review as the only way to truly understand “Cold Blood” is to go to the theatre and immerse yourself in the experience. Very briefly though, against a story line that questions everything we understand about life and death of our own self and those around us, our “performers” on stage with cameras, technology, miniature sets and fingers perform and create the visuals which are on screen on our giant screen that takes up the upper half of the set. You can either watch the film, the performers as they create in real time the features on screen, or both at once (the latter is a little difficult as you run the risk of missing a little of one or the other). The script is genuinely funny in a dark and macabre way, as are our many deaths.
“Cold Blood” is a work of huge originality and creativity and the obvious end result of many, many hours of thought, planning , experimentation, imagination and creativity. “Cold Blood” is what as a reviewer I am always looking for…something different, full of creative imagination and insight and merging multiple artistic and creative disciplines into performance work that is both distinctive and unique.
Review by Tom King
Cold Blood - Edinburgh International Festival
8.00 pm (5 Aug 3.00 pm)