A short but deeply personal show, Hiatus is a hypnotic exploration of emotion and thought during a period of isolation from the outside world (a relatable experience now, in particular). It makes for an affecting and interesting affair, where each flick of the hand or deep stare into the camera feels loaded with significance. Onezee State delivers a mesmerising, almost cryptic piece of physical theatre let down only by the technical issues and physical backdrop.
The movement is at times convulsive, and at other times much smoother, reflecting the three distinctive stages of the show. Hiatus is a story of moving from darkness to light, of one’s relationship to time and space, and remarkably for such a short performance this is fairly clear to see. The eerie soundscape catches you off guard with abrupt clashes and clangs amidst an otherwise smooth music track, to great effect. This is a piece that invites you to be intrigued, and to revel in curiosity – something that it manages with style and grace.
Where the show could do with improvement is on a technical level. The mass migration to online theatre has led performers to experiment with new technologies and overcome new challenges. Some have clearly managed it better than others, and unfortunately Hiatus is let down by a number of technological gremlins. The video is often pixelated, sometimes stuttering, and the sound quality could be improved. This badly affects the atmosphere of the show, as does the absence of any kind of backdrop – even a darkly coloured curtain could have really lifted Hiatus to something more than the capably performed solo show it already is.
Hiatus is a reminder of how significant a role technology and set dressings can play when helping solo theatre achieve its aims. It is also however a reminder that the performer is central, and happily it is here that Onezee State excels. If you can withstand the missteps, this is a magnetic physical performance that represents the meaningful and unique kind of art that the Fringe, even in its digital only state, is able to nourish.
Hiatus is available to watch here