Interrupted

This is the Edinburgh debut for Anglo-Spanish physical theatre company Teatro en Vilo, and they have made their arrival with panache. Interrupted, a devised physical theatre piece, traces the mental breakdown of a successful businesswoman with a stressful lifestyle. The storyline is well-paced, and the protagonist’s gradual loss of control totally believable. The cast works well together, moving themselves and the set with a relentless rhythm which reflects the unstoppable march of our protagonist’s mental disarray.

The use of physical theatre itself is not always innovative – people have pretended to be cars before – but it is, nevertheless, dependable and effective. As our protagonist loses her grip on reality, hands appear from nowhere to move inanimate objects before her eyes; here, the physical theatre takes us inside her head as she slowly unravels.

The highlight of the piece are the caricatures, which are frequent and creative. Noemi Rodriguez Fernandez’s comic acting is particularly excellent as the eccentric Raphael, a cleaner and a waitress by turns. The office setting, done so many times before, is fresh and funny, and though it uses stock office characters there is no sense of cliché. The comedy by no means distracts from the dark elements of the plot, either; the distress of our heroine (Andrea Jimenez Garcia) as she begins to realise she is losing control of her life is very convincing, and the charting of her breakdown makes for totally gripping viewing.

After the descent into madness, the climactic ending is strangely peaceful, if perhaps a bit of a cop out. Had it not been given so neat an ending, this witty and well-paced look at mental illness might have bordered on the heartwrenching. As it is, we are left with the impression of a slick and intelligent production and a capable cast.. This production is not groundbreaking, but it is thoroughly entertaining.

Reviews by Charlotte Goodman

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Performances

The Blurb

If you’ve got everything under control, then you’re not going fast enough. Teatro En Vilo present their international award-winning show, Interrupted. A stressed-out comedy about crashing. ‘Ingenious, adventurous and flawless’ (WhatsPeenSeen.co.uk).

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