Your Last Breath

In 1999, Anna Bagenholm became trapped under ice after a skiing accident. Her body began to freeze, bit by bit, and when she was rescued after eighty minutes her heart had stopped, her pupils were dilated and she was, by all conventional measures, dead. Her doctors decided to attempt CPR regardless and after hours of work she was revived in hospital after enduring the lowest body temperature recorded. It is this story, and the landscape in which her accident took place, that inspired this play.The Norwegian wilderness plays host to four stories. Christopher charts the untamed landscape in 1876, rushing to complete his maps before winter comes. In 1999 Anna is trapped under the ice and concentrates on staying alive. In 2011 Freija (who works and lives in London) has come to carry out her father’s last request in the harsh wilderness of Norway and finds something meaningful and beautiful in both the alien landscape and her guide. Finally, Nicholas tells the world about exciting new suspended animation technology in 2034 while mourning the loss of his parents.The show was technically amazing – near-constant musical accompaniment, a mobile set and projections helped to ease the scene changes as the play jumped across space and time. They managed to impress without dominating the performance and overshadowing the cast.The play is not without fault; there are small sections of physical theatre which do not add to the action and merely break the (otherwise-impressive) flow. The stories of Freija and Nicholas lack the depth of the others and it feels as though the ensemble realised this and placed the more moving and interesting tale of Christopher at the fore. The stories are linked in time and somewhat in theme, but they do not fit perfectly together which prevents them from truly leaving a lasting emotional impression. Nevertheless, Your Last Breath is a study in accomplished, fluid storytelling and to be recommended.

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The Blurb

Trapped under ice after a skiing accident, Anna slowly freezes. Follow the tracks into Nordic mountains, maps, myths, motherhood and a miracle of modern science. Multimedia, live-score and explosive choreography. ‘A young company to watch’ (Guardian). www.curiousdirective.com.

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