EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Invisible Lands

at Traverse Theatre

* * * * -

A story of displacement told through miniature toys and the human body.

Image of Invisible Lands

Livsmedlet Theatre are a Swedish/Finnish company who present exciting visual theatre on a small scale. The duo of Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren use their physical bodies, miniature toys, sound, micro-cameras and a variety of other media to present the UK premiere of Invisible Lands.

The show is exhibited in an intimate and enclosed manner, with a small selection of seats set up around the main performance space – with even some of the audience sat on the floor. This creates a confined and personal tone, which is also expressed via the format of the show.

Invisible Lands begins with the two performers entering the stage. They sit down and look the audience members straight in the eye. On the stage are bottles of water, toys and a variety of props, which all feature to tell a story of displacement and refugees crossing borders and landscapes. It is the presentation of these landscapes that makes Invisible Lands such a striking and visually arresting performance. Falke and Lindgren use their bodies as a means to present paths, mountains, cliff faces and water. The toys are placed on their bodies and limbs and they contort their physiques to represent the landscapes. It is gripping to watch as we see a physical theatre performance that creates the actual setting of the show. Blue paint is employed to present the ocean. Here the vastness of the refugees struggle is laid bare and we see how treacherous and dangerous their plight is.

Occasionally audio clips of people speaking are played over the visuals. Here we are presented with a gibberish language which underlines the displacement and confusion that the refugees are experiencing. The miniature world of the toys is also explored through video projections. Micro-cameras are used so the audience can see the world through their perspective. The visuals are projected to the back of the stage and the size and scale of the journey is presented in a new and graphic method.

Invisible Lands feels fresh and inventive. The story is clear and the presentation keeps the audience guessing as to what will happen next. The use of different media plays with the idea of scale and shows how small characters can tell a big story.