It needs to be said, you must go into this show with an open mind. As Rose McGowan tells us, this is “not a theatrical experience, it’s an art experience.” She invites us to follow her on an internal journey through sound and visuals, and the only way to fully participate is to completely surrender.
McGowan has us all under her spell.
Part meditation, part spoken word, part trance-like club experience, part therapy session - McGowan shows us a very different side to the one presented by the media. She promises that she comes in peace, no matter what people might expect. In Planet 9, she is soft and vulnerable, yet her inner strength comes shining through. Brave is what she’s all about.
When she talks about her father being the leader of a cult, it’s easy to imagine her occupying a similar position. Sitting cross-legged in front of us, all dressed in white and speaking in a low, soothing voice, this might be a communal brainwashing but no one is complaining. Everything she says feels so important that it is a shame some of it gets drowned out by a few ill-timed music intros.
The performance uses pieces from an album she has been working on for over four years. The music is electronic, with heavy bass and lyrics that may only make sense to the writer. Watching her is like entering another dimension. She is trying to describe a dream to us, but words are insufficient. Is this the 'Planet 9' she speaks of, her happy place?
She talks, and sings, about the possibility of a life unbridled by fear. In a way, this oasis in the midst of Fringe madness is a safe space that McGowan has created for us. Her performance is enthralling from start to finish. In anyone else’s hands, this kind of artistic expression might be met with skepticism. but McGowan has us all under her spell. The trick is to go into the room as open and vulnerable as the woman of the hour, and you're guaranteed to leave with something of value.