EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Wrenne: I Said Yes to Everything

at Assembly George Square Studios

* * * * -

Outstanding vocalist mesmerises with multi-faceted performance

Image of Wrenne: I Said Yes to Everything

By the end of I Said Yes To Everything, the audience is on its feet, one woman moved to tears stays behind, and various crowd members clamber to meet the star, Wrenne, as she waits outside the venue to chat about the show. And the show feels like a completely unique one – quite a feat at the world’s biggest arts festival. Part-multimedia, part-music show, part-physical theatre, and part-miscellaneous – it results in something that is more than the sum of all these parts.

In the darkness of the Studio One stage, Wrenne emerges from a box wrapped in sheer cloth and singing mellifluously to a haunting piano track. Her agility and delicate motion is already fascinating and the song lyrics, suggesting inner conflict and yearning, mesmerise further. As the show progresses, the physicality of the star is showcased through dance, acrobatics and intense trampoline work – all while singing note-perfectly. At the same time, projected visuals play a key part in telling a story of the struggle to find oneself and the notion of duality within the individual. Sweeping shots of urban and rural landscapes feature Wrenne running towards an invisible something and other digitally rendered backdrops create an entrancing mood to match the music.

However, all of this only serves to bolster the central talent at play here: Wrenne’s voice is astonishing. She is a versatile singer, switching from heartfelt belts to startling soprano trills, and always with great power. In fact, the EPs she is selling in the foyer don’t do the powerful instrument of her voice justice. The compositions themselves incorporate flavours of pop, electronica, indie torchsongs and even opera. And although this is highly conceptual work, the songs are never too leftfield or avant-garde to find hooks and melodies.

Perhaps the combination of all aspects of the production will be a little too abstract for some and towards the close, as she speaks to the audience, even she admits it’s “about what we wanted it to be” (in fact, the informal chat with the audience detracts slightly from what was building to a powerful climax). But despite the difficulty in pinning down a clear, objective narrative, the spectacle of the voice, the performance and the visuals is more than enough to absorb the audience for the entire hour.

It will be fascinating to follow Wrenne’s evolution and see where her vocals and creativity take her next. I Said Yes to Everything certainly feels like one stepping stone in what should become a multi-faceted journey of artistry.