Hippana Theatre brings an immersive psychological thriller to the Fringe. The premise is that all of us have a stranger inside us, a devil of sorts. It just takes some event to occur in our lives to unleash it. At the venue, you are provided with binaural headphones to put on. The acting is done through mime, incorporating some dance. The result is a unique experience, merging reality with the depth of the mind fluidly.
While the parents of an 8 year old girl sleep, she goes missing. The parents cannot find her the next morning and a search ensues. Forward 5 months into the future and the father, played by Olivier Leclair, is distraught and still strugging. The mother (Tiia-Mari Makinen) copes a bit better as a therapist herself. As she tries to juggle her own emotions, work and help her husband, Leclair moves further and further away. The audience is then in his troubled mind. He is plagued by visions and memories, and tortured by his failure as a parent.
The acting is excellent, and both actors are very emotive. Without words, they communicate well. Their movements range from the humdrum of everyday life to the desperate nature of their search. This is handled well. However, the production doesn’t have a resolution. The ending is abrupt, and it doesn’t finish the thread that is left open through leading the audience’s mind. The headphones work well to lead the audience into the character’s thoughts, but don’t do much beyond that. With a sensitive topic as a missing child, the ending deserved to be more nuanced.
This show is at the Fringe as part of the Start to Finnish programme. Those that enjoy immersive shows will appreciate the nature of it. With its unique approach to storytelling is a reasonably enjoyable experience.