The Outsider

Conceived and performed by stage magician Janne Raudaskoski, The Outsider is a spectacular piece of theatre illusion. Or as Raudaskoski likes to call it, experiential theatre.

This show made me feel like a child in the theatre again.

Using clever special effects, the show is best described as a 4D movie. Two digital video screens and a door are on stage. A video begins the show: an Outsider from another planet is seen travelling to Earth, to Europe, to Edinburgh and then down George Street and into the back entrance of the New Town Theatre. Then, with perfect timing, this character bursts through the door in an explosion of glitter.

He’s Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, if either of those were an alien. The Outsider has a shock of green hair and lurid green tights with a perpetually wide-eyed expression of confusion on his painted face. He goes through the mill of our human experiences - getting a job, spending money, falling in love, procreating, becoming an alcoholic, becoming a mindless consumer, becoming violent and forcing us to question our modern lifestyle.

The way in which this narrative is performed is exquisite. Raudaskoski plays all of the characters; he is physically expressive and his choreography and timing are excellent. When he steps behind the screens, a digital version of him appears, perfectly in sync, then reappears moments later on another part of the stage, surprising us.

For most of the show there are two digital versions of him, one on each screen. Even though we know it is an illusion, sometimes we forget where the real performer is. Other video scenes are used to good effect too. There are some other magic tricks and special effects that drew gasps of surprise and delight from the audience but I won’t spoil these for you.

This show made me feel like a child in the theatre again. It is charming and whimsical with a seriousness underneath.  

Reviews by Emma Gibson

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A man not of this world suddenly wanders onto Earth. The Outsider, a naive Buster Keaton-like character, bumps into modern humanity. The Outsider is a delightful fantasy for grown-ups which has gathered standing ovations around Europe. The performance evokes the visual style of silent films, simultaneously taking them into a contemporary format – in full colour and stunning special effects! Author of The Outsider is award-winning magician and actor Janne Raudaskoski - man of forty roles. ‘The performance is a piece of technical wizardry polished till perfection’ ***** (Arbetarbladet, Sweden).

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