Supposed to Be Seen

‘But how does this game work?’ asks one of the two women on stage before us. It’s a good question and one that the audience might well be wondering.

What these performers are trying to do is interesting.

A vivid soundscape created by the talented Nathalie Huber welcomes us as we sit in apprehension for this dynamic duo, and dynamic they are. These two excellent performers, Jessica Sowerby and Sabin Huber, produce an impressive array of movement sequences throughout the piece. However from the moment they enter, one slung over the others’ shoulder, the audience struggles to understand what exactly is going on. Sowerby and Huber are almost Beckettian in their absurdity, presenting two women struggling to make sense of what they’re actually doing. If you desire dialogue or cohesive narrative, steer clear of this production. If you’re looking for something stimulatingly surreal, step right in.

What these performers are trying to do is interesting. The rocking motion of a cigarette expands into a violent rhythm, a dance of contraction and expulsion, only to be mocked by the performers themselves. Every action is charged and at times moments become unbearably tender - ‘Stop dying’, one woman says to another, trying to force her hand away from holding her mouth, ‘stop dying’.

Supposed to be Seen seems to be in a debate with itself as to whether it even wants to be seen at all by its audience, and this uncertainty is perhaps where this production falls down.

Pregnant Theatre’s aim is supposedly to break the boundary between audience and story, but if anything the confusion of the piece and of the performers lends itself to stark alienation - the audience are often left in the dark. This is a challenging piece of experimental theatre; the physical movements may be clear but the intent and narrative behind them still need work. Pregnant pride themselves on transcending language, communicating through physicality alone, but the problem remains that even this language of the body remains warped in this clever but confused piece of theatre.

Reviews by Thea Hawlin

Zoo Southside

Beyond the Body

★★
Zoo

Icarus

★★★
Zoo Southside

An Invitation

★★★
Zoo Southside

Pss Pss

★★★★
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

John Ruskin: Artist and Observer

★★★★
Blackwell's Bookshop

Blackwell's Writers at the Fringe

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Two women. An empty room. Nowhere to hide. What happens when the outside is looking in at them? They enter. One carries the other upon her shoulders. A long time ago they met. Who are we together? Who are we alone? Is one able to escape from her own presence? Two women, carrying each other, searching for independence, walking on this thin fragile path between the inside and the outside. Pregnant Theatre from Australia and Switzerland use original soundscape and multi-languages fused with humour, absurdity and movement promising a dynamic debut.

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