The Smile Off Your Face
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 16th Aug 2007
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Anxiety. Passion. Comfort. Dread. Those are just some of the emotions you might use to describe The Smile Off Your Face. But words seem so insufficient to explain an experience which goes beyond the normal theatrical boundaries of sight and sound. This is total sensory immersion. Prepare to smell, touch and taste this show.

It is impossible to describe in any detail what actually happens as part of the performance, for to do so would ruin it. If you were to anticipate any part of the event, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't get as much out. I can say that the audience go through this individually, conveyor-belt style, every 5 minutes. You are placed in a wheelchair, blindfolded and your hands are tied. The next 20 minutes is then a unique personal experience, and I'm prepared to believe that everyone gets something different from it. I left the space dazed, and spent the next couple of hours trying to figure out my emotions.

It has led to an interesting word-of-mouth community developing around Edinburgh. Those that have, and those that have not, done it. Cult-like evangelists, of which I am one, are dragging people to C soco to try this. But we can't tell you anything about what happens inside, you just have to trust and let go.

I hope Ontroerend Goed extend their run in Scotland, so more people can discover the experience which defies categorisation. Go see it now.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

Powerhouse performance that rolls you from absolute loneliness to intimate security - and back again. Whilst chained to your chair you lose control. Experience extreme sensations. Abandon your senses as 'they' take care of you.