A body is washed up on the shores of the Faroe Islands, rain softly splatters on a coat, a video projection comes into view and live music fills our ears. Welcome to a multimedia masterpiece; a sensational hour about an ordinary life told in an extraordinary way.
Technically complex and creatively compelling, Buzz is an artistic triumph
It begins the year everything goes wrong, 1983, and the day is Tuesday, the most mundane day of the week. Mattias is the sort of man who never wanted to be a CEO or an Olympian; he is happy being a cog in the machine that is society (or live as a gardener). When he meets Helle, his first love, she threatens his anonymity. Twelve and a half years later, Helle walks about on Mattias, he loses his job and finds himself face down on the Faroe Islands, although how we’re never quite sure.
Charlotte Vandermeersch’s performance as Mattias had understated gravitas and although Buzz could have been a solo play, Keren Willems on a plethora of instruments and Ann-Julie Vervaeke’s continual video installation make it an ensemble piece. The chemistry between Vandermeersch and Willems is another joyous flavour of Buzz. From the lights to the sound mixing, the vocals to the instruments, every artist in Buzz is at the top of their game.
Based off Johan Harstard’s novel, Buzz Aldrin, What Happened To You In All The Confusion, this adaptation tells the tale of one man’s lack of ambition in a world that often punishes those whose names we can’t quite remember. Mattias is obsessed with the second man on the moon, the man everyone forgets. This is a simple story about a desperately ordinary soul spinning out of orbit with the earth, losing touch of his reality.
Helped with sensational video and music, the audience are with Vandermeersch’s Mattias throughout. Vandermeersch’s gender-fluid performance showcases her rich talent for storytelling. Mattias’ moving journey from shy schoolboy to psychiatric case is told through Vandermeersch’s sensational vocals which slip in and out of her monologue. The audience only gets a slice of Mattias, but he is desperate to be invisible and cut off from the world that being let into his story was a privilege.
The atmosphere of magnificent desolation in Summerhall at 10am was awe-inspiring, as one man’s understated emotional journey is told through a creative amalgamation of talent. This humble story is painted in ambitious strokes. If you don’t mind a play that moves at its own pace, if you’re after technically complex and compelling theatre, you must see Buzz, an artistic triumph.