If I Ruled the World is a 20-minute, interactive audio performance set in Brighton Station. Unique, innovative, and unanimously well-received, the show is recommended for any fringe itinerary.
We met at the Grand Central pub at 12:45. We were each given individual MP3 players with a prerecorded track and told to press play exactly when the clock in Brighton Station struck 1pm. There was already a sense of mystery and intrigue with nobody knowing what quite to expect. This reviewer passed the 15 minutes buying coffee and browsing magazines in WH Smith, before the moment finally arrived.
‘Have you come alone? Were you followed?’, began the female voice, paranoid, telling me to find my own space. ‘This is your stage’, she said. And so the show began.
What followed was partially an incitement to mindfulness. The voice encouraged me to focus on details in my surroundings, those which are bypassed in the hubbub of travel. There was something eerie about this detached voice expressing familiarity with the environment, creating a sense of being watched: Ultimately, you were her puppet, rather than autonomous star of your own film.
Eventually we were asked to locate a woman in a red dress – co-producer of the show – and soon we could hear her thoughts, as she synchronised her movements with them. The stunt was seamless, impressive, and presumably the result of much practice.
However, the whole experience was inhibited by the sight of other Fringe-goers with their MP3 players, reminding you that you were far from alone. Furthermore, the sentiments occasionally seemed rather trite to this reviewer, in encouraging a ‘connection with your fellow man’ (my platitude, not theirs).
Altogether, though, If I Ruled the World was a charming and memorable piece, one certainly worth your time and money.