You know that scene in every crime show ever, when the police finally show up at the serial killer’s lair to find a treasure trove of strange, coded messages pinned to the walls? Well, the venue for You, Me and the World is very reminiscent of that. It’s really just as well that creator/performer Olly Hawes has such a harmless demeanour, because otherwise his cramped little theatre installation could have ended up feeling rather awkward for all involved.
For festivalgoers who purposefully seek out the weird edges of the Fringe, this will be a good choice.
Taking place in a portacabin behind Zoo Southside, You, Me and the World is part game show, part performance art and part installation piece. And it’s fun, if not actually as deep or thought-provoking as it thinks it is.
As is the case with most audience participation performances, this one will surely be radically different depending on who shows up. My audience (although perhaps “audience” is the wrong word, since we were participating throughout) was a group of young, interested people who all seemed game enough to go along with Hawes’ various tasks and rituals. We answered anonymous questions about ourselves, switched lights on and off according to Hawes’ (seemingly pointless) orders, and listened as Hawes read out facts about the universe (helpfully written on his own body).
Hawes occasionally strays too close to an undergraduate level of pretentiousness, but luckily the show’s rapid-fire format means that these moments are soon dispensed with to make room for the next game or monologue.
For festivalgoers who purposefully seek out the weird edges of the Fringe, this will be a good choice. Go in with an open mind and a lack of cynicism, and You, Me and the World certainly won’t bore you. But if you don’t like the idea of being locked in a portacabin with ten strangers and forced to take part in a low-budget game show about the meaning of life, then this probably isn’t for you.